Association of obesity with the clinical severity of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients in a tertiary care hospital in Bangladesh


  • Samia Rahman Department of Medicine, 250 Bed General Hospital, Bhola, Bangladesh
  • Shamim Ahmed Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Susanta Kumar Paul Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Mohammed Atiqur Rahman Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Rawnak Jahan Department of Respiratory Medicine, United Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Shah Ashiqur Rahman Ashiq Choudhury Department of Respiratory Medicine, United Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Rajashish Chakrabortty Department of Respiratory Medicine, United Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh



Association, Bangladesh, Obesity, Severity, COVID-19 disease


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is increasingly drawing worldwide attention. Among multiple risk factors, obesity is one of the factors that can influence the disease severity. This study aimed to explore the impact of obesity on the severity of COVID-19 infection.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka from September 2020 to February 2021. The Adult (Aged ≥18 years) patients of both genders, who were COVID-19 positive, were included in this study. Ninety-one COVID-19 patients with BMI≥25 kg/m2 were set as case and another ninety-one patients with BMI<25 kg/m2 were selected as control. The patient's BMI and waist circumference (WC) were recorded. Disease severity was evaluated by the management of COVID-19 disease guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO) 2020.

Results: The maximum patients were male (65.38%), in the sixth and seventh decades. The proportion of severe illness was higher in the obese group 69.2% compared to the non-obese 47.3%. Patients with obesity require more ICU support (15.4% versus 5.5%) and invasive mechanical ventilation (9.9% versus 2.2%) compared to non-obese patients. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, after adjusting age, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, obesity (BMI>25 kg/m2) was an independent risk factor for severe illness.

Conclusions: Obese patients are associated with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.  As BMI increases, disease severity increases, needs more ICU support, and needs more invasive mechanical ventilation.


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How to Cite

Rahman, S., Ahmed, S., Paul, S. K., Rahman, M. A., Jahan, R., Choudhury, S. A. R. A., & Chakrabortty, R. (2023). Association of obesity with the clinical severity of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients in a tertiary care hospital in Bangladesh. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 11(11), 3981–3986.



Original Research Articles