Background: The comorbidities and clinical signs of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have been reported mainly as descriptive statistics, rather than quantitative analysis even in very large investigations. The aim of this study was to identify specific patients’ characteristics that may modulate COVID-19 hospitalization risk. Research design and methods: A pooled analysis was performed on high-quality epidemiological studies to quantify the prevalence (%) of comorbidities and clinical signs in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Pooled data were used to calculate the relative risk (RR) of specific comorbidities by matching the frequency of comorbidities in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with those of general population. Results: The most frequent comorbidities were hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular diseases. The RR of COVID-19 hospitalization was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in patients with asthma (0.86, 0.77–0.97) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (0.46, 0.40–0.52). The most frequent clinical signs were fever and cough. Conclusion: The clinical signs of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are similar to those of other infective diseases. Patients with asthma or COPD were at lower hospitalization risk. This paradoxical evidence could be related with the protective effect of inhaled corticosteroids that are administered worldwide to most asthmatic and COPD patients.
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