Svensson P, Hofmann R, Häbel H, Jernberg T, Nordberg P
BMJ Open 11 (2) e044486 [2021-02-17; online 2021-02-17]
The risks associated with diabetes, obesity and hypertension for severe COVID-19 may be confounded and differ by sociodemographic background. We assessed the risks associated with cardiometabolic factors for severe COVID-19 when accounting for socioeconomic factors and in subgroups by age, sex and region of birth. In this nationwide case-control study, 1.086 patients admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation (cases), and 10.860 population-based controls matched for age, sex and district of residency were included from mandatory national registries. ORs with 95% CIs for associations between severe COVID-19 and exposures with adjustment for confounders were estimated using logistic regression. The median age was 62 years (IQR 52-70), and 3003 (24.9%) were women. Type 2 diabetes (OR, 2.3 (95% CI 1.9 to 2.7)), hypertension (OR, 1.7 (95% CI 1.5 to 2.0)), obesity (OR, 3.1 (95% CI 2.4 to 4.0)) and chronic kidney disease (OR, 2.5 (95% CI 1.7 to 3.7)) were all associated with severe COVID-19. In the younger subgroup (below 57 years), ORs were significantly higher for all cardiometabolic risk factors. The risk associated with type 2 diabetes was higher in women (p=0.001) and in patients with a region of birth outside European Union(EU) (p=0.004). Diabetes, obesity and hypertension were all independently associated with severe COVID-19 with stronger associations in the younger population. Type 2 diabetes implied a greater risk among women and in non-EU immigrants. These findings, originating from high-quality Swedish registries, may be important to direct preventive measures such as vaccination to susceptible patient groups. Clinicaltrial.gov (NCT04426084).