New research has linked metabolic syndrome with an increased risk of worse outcomes in people with COVID-19. A new study has found that people with metabolic syndrome, which refers to a cluster of conditions that increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular issues, are more likely to have worse COVID-19 outcomes — including requiring ventilation and death. The research, which appears in the journal Diabetes Care, provides further information on the underlying risk factors that affect the severity of COVID-19. Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the world. However, its effects are not equal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some groups most at risk of severe disease include older adults and those with certain underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The new research highlights that obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, in particular, are more common in people who die from COVID-19 than heart or lung conditions. Even after accounting for a range of variables — including age, sex, race, and the location of the hospital — the researchers found that people with metabolic syndrome had a significantly higher chance of dying from COVID-19 (3.4 times as likely, overall) than people without metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome were also almost five times as likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, need ventilation, or develop ARDS. Interestingly, the researchers found that there was no association between the individual conditions that collectively make up metabolic syndrome and death due to COVID-19. However, obesity and diabetes were associated with a higher likelihood of needing admittance to intensive care and requiring ventilation.