Is BMI Higher in Younger Patients with COVID‐19? Association Between BMI and COVID‐19 Hospitalization by Age

4 Sep, 2020



Obesity has been found to be a risk factor for hospitalization with coronavirus disease (COVID‐19). This study investigated whether patients hospitalized with COVID‐19 differed in BMI at older versus younger ages and whether trends were independent of diabetes and hypertension.


A cross‐sectional analysis of patients hospitalized with moderate to severe COVID‐19 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital from March 19, 2020, until April 4, 2020, was performed. Patients hospitalized with COVID‐19 above and below the age of 50 were compared as well as those hospitalized without COVID‐19.


Patients younger than 50 years of age hospitalized with COVID‐19 without diabetes or hypertension had mean BMI greater than those older than 50 years of age, with BMI 43.1 (95% CI: 34.5‐51.7) versus 30.1 (95% CI: 27.7‐32.5) (P = 0.02). Furthermore, BMI appeared to inversely correlate with increasing age among patients hospitalized with COVID‐19. We did not detect the same difference or trend for patients hospitalized without COVID‐19.


Younger patients (age < 50 years) with COVID‐19 had higher mean BMI than older patients with COVID‐19, with and without diabetes and hypertension. This trend did not exist in patients without COVID‐19 hospitalized during the same time period.

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