Prevalence of comorbidities in the novel Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Yang J, Zheng Y, Gou X, et al. Prevalence of comorbidities and its effects in coronavirus disease 2019 patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 12]. Int J Infect Dis. 2020;94:91‐95. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.017

Review written by:

Dylan Rust, edited by Elizabeth Harty

Yellow - The body of literature regarding comorbidities is still being established

A number of studies have suggested that comorbidities may be a risk factor for adverse outcomes in those infected with COVID-19. This study provides a meta-analysis of  literature up to 02/25/2020 to evaluate the presence of co-morbidities in infected patients, and to determine risk of underlying illness in severe compared to non-severe patients.

Seven studies were included in the final analysis with a total of 1,576 patients. The median age was 49.6 years and 56.5% were male.

The most prevalent physical symptoms were fever ( 91.3%), cough (67.7%), fatigue (51% ) and dyspnea ( 30.4%).

The most present comorbidities were hypertension (21.2%) and diabetes (9.7%),followed by cardiovascular diseases (8.4%) and respiratory system disease( 1.5%). A higher risk of hypertension, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease was observed in severe patients as compared to non-severe.

Review Notes
  • High statistical heterogeneity (variations in the follow-up lengths and sample size);

  • All studies came from 1 country (China) so data from other regions in the world should be considered.

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