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INTRODUCTION: Previous evidence from several countries, including China, Italy, Mexico, UK and the USA, indicates that among patients with confirmed COVID-19 who were hospitalised, diabetes, obesity and hypertension might be important risk factors for severe clinical outcomes. Several preliminary systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been conducted on one or more of these non-communicable diseases, but the findings have not been definitive, and recent evidence has become available from many more populations. Thus, we aim to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies to assess the relationship of diabetes, obesity and hypertension with severe clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. METHOD AND ANALYSIS: We will search 16 major databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Global Health, CAB Abstracts, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Academic Research Complete, Africa Wide Information, Scopus, PubMed Central, ProQuest Central, WHO Virtual Health Library, Homeland Security COVID-19 collection, SciFinder, Clinical Trials and Cochrane Library) for articles published between December 2019 and December 2020. We will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols 2016 guidelines for the design and reporting the results. We will include observational studies that assess the associations of pre-existing diabetes, obesity and hypertension in patients with COVID-19 with risk of severe clinical outcomes such as intensive care unit admission, receiving mechanical ventilation or death. Stata V.16.1 and R-Studio V.1.4.1103 statistical software will be used for statistical analysis. Meta-analysis will be used to estimate the pooled risks and to assess potential heterogeneities in risks. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was reviewed for human subjects concerns by the US CDC Center for Global Health and determined to not represent human subjects research because it uses data from published studies. We plan to publish results in a peer-reviewed journal and present at national and international conferences. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021204371.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





COVID-19, diabetes & endocrinology, epidemiology, hypertension