WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Risk factors independently associated with increased odds of developing COVID-19 include Asian/Asian British versus White ethnicity, household overcrowding, and elevated body mass index, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in Thorax.

Hayley Holt, from Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues conducted a prospective, population-based cohort study from May 1, 2020, to Feb. 5, 2021, to examine potential risk factors for developing COVID-19. An online questionnaire was used to capture baseline information on potential risk factors.

The researchers found 446 incident cases of COVID-19 in 15,227 participants (2.9 percent). Increased odds of developing COVID-19 were independently associated with Asian/Asian British versus White ethnicity (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.28), household overcrowding (aOR per additional 0.5 people/bedroom, 1.26), any versus no visits to/from other households in the previous week (aOR, 1.31), number of visits to indoor public places (aOR per extra visit per week, 1.05), frontline versus no frontline occupation, excluding health/social care (aOR, 1.49), and elevated body mass index (aORs, 1.50 and 1.39 for 25.0 to 30.0 kg/m2 and >30.0 kg/m2, respectively, versus <25.0 kg/m2). There was an independent association for atopic disease with reduced odds of developing COVID-19 (aOR, 0.75). There were no independent associations for age, sex, other medical conditions, diet, or micronutrient supplement use.

“This study sheds new light on the degree of overlap between risk factors for developing COVID-19 (irrespective of severity) versus risk factors for developing severe or fatal disease specifically,” the authors write.

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