Obesity Increases the Severity and Mortality of Influenza and COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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Since December 2019, COVID-19 has aroused global attention. Studies show the link between obesity and severe outcome of influenza and COVID-19. Thus, we aimed to compare the impacts of obesity on the severity and mortality of influenza and COVID-19 by performing a meta-analysis. A systematic search was performed in MEDLINE, EMASE, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Web of Science from January 2009 to July 2020. The protocol was registered onto PROSPERO (CRD42020201461). After selection, 46 studies were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were analyzed. We found obesity was a risk factor for the severity and mortality of influenza (ORsevere outcome = 1.56, CI: 1.28-1.90; ORmortality = 1.99, CI: 1.15-3.46). For COVID-19, obesity was a significant risk factor only for severe outcome (OR = 2.07, CI: 1.53-2.81) but not for mortality (OR = 1.57, CI: 0.85-2.90). Compared with obesity, morbid obesity was linked with a higher risk for the severity and mortality of both influenza (OR = 1.40, CI: 1.10-1.79) and COVID-19 (OR = 3.76, CI: 2.67-5.28). Thus, obesity should be recommended as a risk factor for the prognosis assessment of COVID-19. Special monitoring and earlier treatment should be implemented in patients with obesity and COVID-19.