Association of Obesity and Diabetes with SARS-Cov-2 Infection and Symptoms in the COVID-19 Community Research Partnership

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism




Diabetes; Epidemiology; Obesity; SARS-Cov2


OBJECTIVE: Obesity and diabetes are established risk factors for severe SARS-CoV-2 outcomes, but less is known about their impact on susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and general symptom severity. We hypothesized that those with obesity or diabetes would be more likely to self-report a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, and among those with a positive test, have greater symptom severity and duration. METHODS: Among 44,430 COVID-19 Community Research Partnership participants, we evaluated the association of self-reported and electronic health record obesity and diabetes with a self-reported positive COVID-19 test at any time. Among the 2,663 participants with a self-reported positive COVID-19 test during the study, we evaluated the association of obesity and diabetes with self-report of symptom severity, duration, and hospitalization. Logistic regression models were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and healthcare worker status. RESULTS: We found a positive graded association between Body Mass Index (BMI) category and positive COVID-19 test (Overweight OR = 1.14 [1.05-1.25]; Obesity I OR = 1.29 [1.17-2.42]; Obesity II OR = 1.34 [1.19-1.50]; Obesity III OR = 1.53 [1.35-1.73]), and a similar but weaker association with COVID-19 symptoms and severity among those with a positive test. Diabetes was associated with COVID-19 infection but not symptoms after adjustment, with some evidence of an interaction between obesity and diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: While the limitations of this health system convenience sample include generalizability and selection around test-seeking, the strong graded association of BMI and diabetes with self-reported COVID-19 infection suggests that obesity and diabetes may play a role in risk for symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 beyond co-occurrence with socioeconomic factors.


Biostatistics and Bioinformatics