Abstract

The new coronavirus, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. Risk factors associated with this disease are age, sex, and the presence of comorbidities, the most common being hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. The aim of this meta-analysis was to calculate the prevalence and geographical distribution of comorbidities in all patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), and the mortality rate of COVID-19. We selected studies based upon epidemiological and clinical descriptions of the patients and mortality from the disease to determine the pooled prevalence of comorbidities in all patients and in mortality cases due to COVID-19. The pooled prevalence was estimated using the random effects model, and odds ratios were used to measure the probability of death for a patient with a comorbidity. The total prevalence of comorbidities in patients with COVID-19 was 42% (95% CI: 25-60), 61% (95% CI: 42-80) in those admitted to the ICU, and 77% (95% CI: 68-86) among death cases; males were the most affected. Hypertension was the most prevalent comorbidity in all three groups studied, accounting for 32%, 26%, and 35%, respectively. The odds ratio of death for a patient with a comorbidity compared to one with no comorbidity was 2.4 (P < 0.0001). The higher the prevalence of comorbidities the higher the odds that the COVID-19 patient will need intensive care or will die, especially if the pre-existing disease is hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes.
Adults (18+) Elderly (65+) Risk group Risk factor COVID-19