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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1855-e1862, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455257


BACKGROUND: Increased body mass index (BMI) has been associated with a higher risk of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections. However, whether obesity is a risk factor for contracting COVID-19 has hardly been investigated so far. METHODS: We examined the association between BMI level and the risk of COVID-19 infection in a nationwide case-control study comprised of 3788 case patients confirmed to have COVID-19 between 24 January and 9 April 2020 and 15 152 controls matched by age and sex, who were aged 20 years or more and underwent National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) health examinations between 2015-2017, using data from the Korean NHIS with linkage to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Our primary exposure of interest was BMI level, categorized into 4 groups: <18.5 (underweight), 18.5-22.9 (normal weight), 23-24.9 (overweight), and ≥25 kg/m2 (obese). RESULTS: Of the entire 18 940 study participants, 11 755 (62.1%) were women, and the mean age of the study participants was 53.7 years (standard deviation, 13.8). In multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic, comorbidity, laboratory, and medication data, there was a graded association between higher BMI levels and higher risk of COVID-19 infection. Compared to normal-weight individuals, the adjusted odds ratios in the overweight and obese individuals were 1.13 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.25) and 1.26 (95% CI, 1.15-1.39), respectively. This association was robust across age and sex subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Higher BMI levels were associated with a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Adult , Body Mass Index , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
Int J Infect Dis ; 99: 266-268, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695925


OBJECTIVES: To delineate clinical characteristics of asymptomatic and symptomatic patients confirmed with COVID-19 in South Korea. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Korean National Health Insurance Service database linked to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. RESULTS: Among 10,237 patients (mean [SD] age, 45.0 [19.8] years; 60.1% female) who met the eligibility criteria for the study, 6,350 (62.0%) patients were asymptomatic, and 3,887(38.0%) patients were symptomatic. The mean and median age were similar between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients. Notably, we observed a U-shaped association between age group and the proportion of asymptomatic patients, with the nadir at 57.3% in the 40-49 age group. This U-shaped distribution was largely similar between men and women. The overall prevalence of asymptomatic individuals was higher, regardless of sex, residential area, income levels, and comorbid conditions. CONCLUSIONS: In this national cohort of over 10,000 patients with COVID-19, more than 60% of all cases in South Korea reported no symptoms at the time of diagnosis. Expanding criteria for contact tracing and testing to capture potential transmission before symptom onset should be urgently considered to inform control strategies for COVID-19.

Asymptomatic Infections , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult