Background: The impact of gender on outcomes in patients suffering from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is frequently debated. However, the synchronous influence of additional risk factors is seldom mentioned. With increasing emphasis on identifying patients who are at risk of complications from COVID-19, we decided to conduct a retrospective review to assess the influence of age and body mass index (BMI) on gender-based differences in outcomes. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of 1288 patients was conducted at a tertiary care hospital. Binary logistic regression was used to assess differences in risk factors and outcomes between genders. The associations between predictors and outcomes were described using odds ratios in tables, forest plots, and regression curves plotted using Sigma Plot. Results: Majority of patients were women (53.6% vs. 46.4%). Median BMI in men was higher than women (p = 0.003). Key predictors for all-cause morbidity/mortality in men were diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and regular use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. In women, age >65 and regular use of inhaled steroid were additional risk factors. Men had a higher risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (2.83 [1.70-4.70]), acute renal failure (1.96 [1.20-3.20]), and had a longer length of stay (0.11 [1.52]). Obesity has a stronger bearing on outcomes in women, and age has a more pronounced effect on outcomes in men. Conclusion: Extremes of BMI and older age are associated with worse outcomes in both men and women. Obesity has a stronger bearing on outcomes of COVID-19 infection in women, while the effect of older age on outcomes is more pronounced in men.
Keywords: COVID; complications; gender differences; morbidity; mortality; outcomes.