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Metabolic Syndrome Ups Odds of ARDS, Death in COVID-19

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the presence of metabolic syndrome is associated with increased odds of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Joshua L. Denson, M.D., from the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and colleagues conducted a multicenter cohort study to examine whether metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk for ARDS and death from COVID-19. Outcomes were compared for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 with metabolic syndrome (three or more of the following: obesity, prediabetes or diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia; 5,069 adults) and controls without metabolic syndrome (23,971 adults).

The researchers found that metabolic syndrome was associated with an increased risk for intensive care unit (ICU) admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, ARDS, and mortality (adjusted odds ratios, 1.32, 1.45, 1.36, and 1.19, respectively) and with prolonged hospital and ICU length of stay (median, 8.0 versus 6.8 days and 7.0 versus 6.4 days, respectively). The risk for ARDS increased in an additive manner with each additional metabolic syndrome criterion (one criterion: 10.4 percent; two criteria: 15.3 percent; three criteria: 19.3 percent; four criteria: 24.3 percent).

"Given the high rates of metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes in the United States, one hypothesis for why the United States led the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths could be the high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this population," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.