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<jats:p>Background: COVID-19 may differentially impact people with obesity. We aimed to describe and compare the demographics, comorbidities, and outcomes of obese patients with COVID-19 to those of non-obese patients with COVID-19, or obese patients with seasonal influenza. Methods: We conducted a cohort study based on outpatient/inpatient care, and claims data from January to June 2020 from the US, Spain, and the UK. We used six databases standardized to the OMOP common data model. We defined two cohorts of patients diagnosed and/or hospitalized with COVID-19. We created corresponding cohorts for patients with influenza in 2017-2018. We followed patients from index date to 30 days or death. We report the frequency of socio-demographics, prior comorbidities, and 30-days outcomes (hospitalization, events, and death) by obesity status. Findings: We included 627 044 COVID-19 (US: 502 650, Spain: 122 058, UK: 2336) and 4 549 568 influenza (US: 4 431 801, Spain: 115 224, UK: 2543) patients. The prevalence of obesity was higher among hospitalized COVID-19 (range: 38% to 54%) than diagnosed COVID-19 (30% to 47%), or diagnosed/hospitalized influenza (15% to 48%) patients. Obese hospitalized COVID-19 patients were more often female and younger than non-obese COVID-19 patients or obese influenza patients. Obese COVID-19 patients were more likely to have prior comorbidities, present with cardiovascular and respiratory events during hospitalization, require intensive services, or die compared to non-obese COVID-19 patients. Obese COVID-19 patients were also more likely to require intensive services or die compared to obese influenza patients, despite presenting with fewer comorbidities. Interpretation: We show that obesity is more common among COVID-19 than influenza patients, and that obese patients present with more severe forms of COVID-19 with higher hospitalization, intensive services, and fatality than non-obese patients. These data are instrumental for guiding preventive strategies of COVID-19 infection and complications</jats:p>

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Working paper


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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