Meta-Analyses of COVID-19

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The following article focuses on the results of Chinese researchers at Weifang Medical University who published the first peer-reviewed meta-analysis about medical comorbidities and COVID-19 disease severity. It draws data from studies regarding hypertension, diabetes, and COPD, liver disease, malignancy, renal disease, cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular diseases as comorbidities among COVID-19 patients.

On the 8th of April, Chinese researchers at Weifang Medical University published the first peer-reviewed meta-analysis about medical comorbidities and COVID-19 disease severity. They screened several literature databases and retrieved 6 studies for analysis.

  • 6 studies researched HTN, diabetes, and COPD
  • 5 studies examined liver disease.
  • 4 covered malignancy, renal disease, and cardiovascular disease.
  • 3 evaluated cerebrovascular diseases.

It was found that the following comorbidities when associated with COVID-19 had varying chances of the disease progressing to a severe form.

  • Cerebrovascular disease: 289% increased odds
  • Cardiovascular disease: 193% increased odds
  • Hypertension: 129% increased odds
  • Diabetes: 147% increased odds
  • COPD: 497% increased odds
  • Liver disease, malignant tumor, or kidney disease: No significant correlation.

Detailed Summary

Outcomes of the research show that COVID-19 patients with cerebrovascular diseases (OR: 3.89), cardiovascular diseases (OR: 2.93), hypertension (OR: 2.29), diabetes (OR: 2.47), and COPD (OR: 5.97) had an increased risk of disease exacerbation/progression.

Note – Odds ratio (OR) of 1 means neutral, wherein the occurrence of an event is neither increased or decreased. OR >1 means an increased occurrence of an event. OR <1 means a decreased occurrence of an event.

Results – the comorbidities that increase chances of progression to severe disease state.

  • Cerebrovascular disease: 289% increased odds (or 3.89 times more likely).
  • Cardiovascular disease: 193% increased odds (or 2.93 times more likely).
  • Hypertension: 129% increased odds (or 2.29 times more likely).
  • Diabetes: 147% increased odds (or 2.47 times more likely).
  • COPD: 497% increased odds (or 5.97 times more likely).
  • Liver disease, malignant tumor, or kidney disease: No significant correlation.

Note

  • A major limitation in the studies is that they did not separate analyses based on the severity, stages, or subtypes of the medical comorbidity. It’s unclear, for example, how each stage of heart failure affects the risk of COVID-19 progression.
  • Another limitation of the odds ratio is that it doesn’t account for potential confounds such as age, as these medical comorbidities do co-occur with increasing age.

Reference Link : https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1164/rccm.202004-1076ED

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