A brief-review of the risk factors for covid-19 severity

J. E. Rod*, Oscar Oviedo-Trespalacios, Javier Cortes-Ramirez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


The World Health Organization has emphasized that one of the most important questions to address regarding the covid-19 pandemic is to understand risk factors for disease severity. We conducted a brief review that synthesizes the available evidence and provides a judgment on the consistency of the association between risk factors and a composite end-point of severe-fatal covid-19. Additionally, we also conducted a comparability analysis of risk factors across 17 studies. We found evidence supporting a total of 60 predictors for disease severity, of which seven were deemed of high consistency, 40 of medium and 13 of low. Among the factors with high consistency of association, we found age, C-reactive protein, D-dimer, albumin, body temperature, SOFA score and diabetes. The results suggest that diabetes might be the most consistent comorbidity predicting disease severity and that future research should carefully consider the comparability of reporting cases, factors, and outcomes along the different stages of the natural history of covid-19.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalRevista de Saude Publica
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronavirus infections
  • Epidemiology
  • Fatal outcome
  • Review
  • Risk factors


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