Age and weight are factors in coronavirus hospitalizations, according to two new studies.
Researchers from New York University linked factors like age, obesity and chronic illness at raising the risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations. In one study, researchers at NYU Langone Health found that obesity is a risk factor for patients under the age of 60.
The report, which was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, looked at 3,615 patients admitted into NYU’s hospital over a month’s time between March and April. Researchers monitored patients’ body mass index (BMI), which calculates a person’s weight stance on a numerical scale with 18 to 25 being considered normal weight, 25 to 30 being overweight and anything above 30 considered obese.
For patients below age 60, a BMI of 30 to 34 was almost twice as likely to be admitted to a hospital for acute and critical care, the authors found. Patients in the same age group with a BMI over 35 were nearly four times higher.
“This has important and practical implications, where nearly 40 percent of adults in the US are obese,” researchers said. “Unfortunately, obesity in people [under 60] is a newly identified epidemiologic risk factor, which may contribute to increased morbidity rates experienced in the US.”
The second study examined more than 4,000 patients in New York City. The pre-print, yet-to-be peer-reviewed research comes from researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine found that age and chronic illness were leading factors to hospitalization for coronavirus patients. That means people with chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity were subjected to hospitalizations more often than others including patients with cancer.
“The risk factors we identified for hospitalization in [COVID-19] are largely similar to those associated with any type of severe disease requiring hospitalization or ICU-level care, though we were surprised that cancer and chronic pulmonary disease did not feature more prominently in the risk models,” the researchers wrote.