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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-99

Possible risk factors that may play a role in augmenting the liability and intensity of coronavirus disease 2019 infection in obese and nonobese Egyptian children

1 Department of Biological Anthropology, Medical Research Division, Giza, Egypt
2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Post Graduate Childhood Studies, Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Department of Nutrition and Food Science, National Research Centre, Giza, Egypt
4 Department of Clinical Pathology, Medical Research Division, Giza, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Sahar Abd El-Raufe El-Masry
Department of Biological Anthropology, National Research Centre, 33 El-Bohooth Street, Dokki, Giza, Cairo 12622
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jasmr.jasmr_13_21

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Background/aim Obesity, insulin resistance (IR), dyslipidemia, and decreased consumption of essential micronutrients are factors that can compromise the immune response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, leading to increased morbidity and mortality among children. The aim of this study was a detection of possible risk factors that may play a role in augmenting the liability and intensity of COVID-19 infection in Egyptian obese and normal-weight children. Patients and methods This study was a retrospective observational cross-sectional review including 120 obese children (group 1), in addition to 61 age-matched and sex-matched controls (group 2) from children attending ‘the Management of Visceral Obesity and Growth Disturbances Unit’ at the Medical Research Excellence Center (MERC), National Research Centre, Egypt. All children were exposed to medical assessment, anthropometric evaluation, and a three 24-h dietary recall for assessment of micronutrient intake. Laboratory assessment of fasting serum blood glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein was done and IR was calculated. Results Obese children showed higher significant values than the control group regarding all anthropometric measurements with increased blood pressure, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio. Laboratory assessment revealed elevated fasting levels of glucose and Homeostatic Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance denoting IR together with the presence of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein levels within the high-risk range showing tendency toward dyslipidemia. The intake of vitamins A, D, folic acid, and calcium was lower than the recommended dietary allowances in both groups. Conclusion Obesity and its consequent complications, including dyslipidemia and IR together with decreased consumption of vitamins A, D, folic acid, and calcium, were the most prominent risk factors found among the studied sample of Egyptian children that can affect their immune response and predispose to increased severity of COVID-19 infection.

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