To investigate the association of obesity with in-hospital COVID-19 outcomes in different ethnic groups.
Patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in the United Kingdom through the Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) developed by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) were included from 6th February to 12th October 2020. Ethnicity was classified as: white, South Asian, black and other minority ethnic groups. Outcomes were admission to critical care, mechanical ventilation and in-hospital mortality, adjusted for age, sex and chronic diseases.
54,254 (age = 76 years; 45.0% women) white, 3,728 (57 years; 41.1%) South Asian, 2,523 (58 years; 44.9%) black and 5,427 (61 years; 40.8%) other ethnicities were included. Obesity was associated with all outcomes in all ethnic groups, with associations strongest for black ethnicities. When stratified by ethnicity and obesity status, the OR for admission to critical care, mechanical ventilation and mortality in black ethnicities with obesity were 3.91 (3.13, 4.88), 5.03 (3.94, 6.63), 1.93 (1.49, 2.51) respectively, compared to white ethnicities without obesity.
Obesity was associated with an elevated risk of in-hospital COVID-19 outcomes in all ethnic groups, with associations strongest in black ethnicities.