COVID-19 review: Analysis of 58 studies finds male sex and obesity are not associated with ICU mortality, but many factors are

Anaesthesia, a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists, has published a new analysis of 58 studies, 44305 patients, and shows that being male and having a higher body mass (BMI), are not related to an increase in mortality in COVID-19 among patients admitted to intensive care (ICU).The study by Dr Bruce Biccard (Groote Shuur Hospital, University of Cape Town), and his colleagues, however, shows that COVID-19 death in ICU is associated with a variety of factors.COVID-19 patients in ICU had 40% higher mortality rates than those without these risk factors. They were also more likely to have a history or smoking. Additional risk factors included severe organ failure, the need for mechanical ventilation (by 2.5x compared to non-ventilated ICU patients), as well as elevated white blood cells and other indicators of inflammation.The authors suggest that age could be interpreted as frailty for COVID-19 patients. This can impact on a person’s ability to recover from a serious illness or injury. As evidenced by an increased number of ACE-2 receptors in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and smokers, the association between hypertension, smoking, and respiratory disease could be a factor in the risk factors. Hypertension may be associated with increased mortality and cardiovascular disease.According to the authors, "The findings confirm that diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory complications are associated with mortality in COVID-19 patients." This meta-analysis of ICU patients does not support the association between male sex and worsening outcomes due to increasing BMI. This meta-analysis is large in size and provides an accurate estimate of the risk associated with male sexual activity and BMI.###