Coronavirus was an unpredictable enemy from the beginning. It causes infections that are silent or almost imperceptible in some people and a series of complications that overwhelm the body and cause death in others.
Why some patients get over their illness and others fall down is a matter that has plagued doctors.
Older and chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease are known to increase the risk of severe Covid-19. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also lists extreme obesity as a high risk.
But is it because of excess weight in itself? Or what are all the health problems with obesity, such as metabolic and respiratory problems?
New research points out obesity itself as the culprit. Ah Analysis of thousands of patients treated by the Southern California health system identified extreme obesity As an independent risk factor for dying among Covid-19 patients-most surprisingly among young and middle-aged adults under age 60, especially among men.
Among sick women, the body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight) does not appear to be independently associated with an increased risk of death regardless of age, the authors say. ing. Men who tend to have more visceral and abdominal fat. The study was published Wednesday in an internal medicine annual report.
“The Body Mass Index is a really important and independent risk factor for death for people diagnosed with Covid-19,” said Sara Tartof, the lead author of the study, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. States.
But “the impact is not uniform across the population,” she added. “You didn’t really see it in the elderly, and we didn’t consider it a significant risk for women of any age.”
Obesity and coronaviruses are a dangerous combination for several reasons.
Obesity causes respiratory limitation, making pneumonia and other respiratory infections more difficult to remove. Fat is biologically active and a source of proinflammatory chemicals that promote a chronic inflammatory condition in the body even before Covid-19 begins. Obesity causes metabolic changes and abnormalities without diabetes.
This study is not the first to discover obesity as the criminal of Covid-19 death in adolescents. Earlier reports from China and Italy did not focus on obesity as an independent risk factor, but doctors in other parts of the world where obesity is more prevalent have been shown to Have often found to be obese.
Only 6% of the Chinese population is obese, 20% in Italy and 24% in Spain. In contrast, the United States has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.
About 42% of American adults have a body mass index of 30 or higher, Classify them as obesity, And 9% have a BMI of 40 or more. (According to federal guidelines, a person who is 5’9” tall and weighs 270 pounds or more has a BMI of 40.) A 304 pound person has a BMI of 45.
A normal weight range is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. People with a BMI of 25-29.9 are considered overweight.
Ah The report released by the British Public Health Service Overweight and obesity increased the risk of complications and death from Covid-19. There are hundreds of similar articles published on this topic.
In it A study conducted last month at Columbia University, also published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that Covid-19 individuals who are very obese 60% more likely to require mechanical ventilation or die from Covid-19. The study says that this also applies to people under the age of 65.
“Are there more and more obese people in the United States, so are we looking at this?” said Dr. David Cass, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. The person who wrote the editorial accompanying a new study.
“But this is more than a percentage of the general public,” he said. “Not only are there many people who are fat, but there are also many people who are very sick.”
Dr. Kass wrote in a lancet in April, pointing out that many young Covid-19 patients admitted to American hospitals are suffering from obesity, as coronaviruses spread to areas where obesity is widespread. Predicted to affect younger people.
He said different fat distributions could also help to understand the different effects of obesity on men. “When you look at men and women side-by-side with the same BMI, men are much more likely to have background problems that we consider to be a factor that puts us at greater risk.
To conduct the new study, researchers conducted mid-February to May 2 of 6,916 Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Systems treated with Covid-19 as both inpatients and outpatients. We analyzed the health records of the members.
The median age of the patients was 49 years and the average BMI of the patients was 30.6. Almost half were obese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 12, 2020
Can I travel in the US?
- Many states have travel restrictions, and many states are taking proactive steps to enforce these restrictions, such as imposing fines or asking visitors to quarantine for 14 days. .. This is a list that is constantly updated Statewide limits.. Generally, the more you travel, the more likely you are to get a virus and spread. You will meet more people than if you stayed home in your “pod”. “Being at home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19,” says the CDC. However, be careful when traveling. Please drive if you can. If you need to fly Be careful when choosing an airline.. But I know the airline is taking the actual steps Keep the plane clean Limit your risk.
I have an antibody. Am I immune now?
- for now It’s likely to be for at least a few months. There was a dreadful story of people suffering from what seems to be the second game of Covid-19. However, experts say these patients may have a withdrawn course of infection, with late tolls weeks to months after the first exposure. People who are usually infected with coronavirus produce Immune molecules called antibodies Protective protein made in response to infection.. These antibodies are The end of the body Only 2-3 monthsIt may be worrisome, but after the acute infection has subsided, it’s perfectly normal, said Dr Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. You can get the coronavirus again, but it is unlikely that you will get the infection shortly after the first infection or get sick a second time.
I am a small business owner. Can you be relieved?
- of Stimulation bill enacted in March Providing support to millions of American SMEs. Assistance includes businesses and non-profit organizations with less than 500 workers, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and freelancers. It also covers some large companies in some industries. The assistance provided is managed by the Small Business Administration and includes a salary compensation program and an economic injury catastrophe financing program. But many people have I haven’t seen the payment yet. Even the helped people are confused: the rules are strict, and some are stuck and stuck Money they don’t know how to use. Many small business owners are fewer than they expected I can not hear anything.
If I’m worried about getting back to work, what are my rights?
What was the school like in September?
- Most schools are unlikely to return to their normal schedule this fall. Online learning, Makeshift childcare And Stunted workdays to continue. The two largest public school districts in California — Los Angeles and San Diego — are July 13th, In the fall we will be teaching only remoteRaising concerns that a rapidly increasing coronavirus infection in the region poses a very disastrous risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts have approximately 825,000 students. They are the largest in the nation to even abandon their plans to partially physically return to the classroom when they resume in August. For other districts, the solution is not an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, Including New York City, the largest in the United States, Hybrid plan Spend a few days in the classroom or online. There is no national policy on this yet. So check your local school system regularly to see what’s happening in the community.
In general, Obesity rates vary by race and ethnicity, According to the CDC, the age-adjusted obesity rate for blacks is 49.6%, 45% for Hispanics, 42% for Whites, and 17% for Asian Americans.
More than half of Kaiser Permanente patients were Hispanic, about 1,000 were Asian/Asian American, and 584 were black. Many patients had potential health problems linked to poor Covid-19 results. Approximately 206, or 3%, of patients died within 21 days of receiving a Covid-19 diagnosis.
To find out if obesity itself is associated with a higher risk of death, researchers are investigating conditions known to be associated with more severe forms of Covid-19, such as hypertension and diabetes. Tried to exclude. As a heart, kidney, chronic lung disease.
Scientists also wanted to know if demographic factors such as age, gender, race and ethnicity would play a role.
Black and Latino populations have been unfairly attacked by the virus and have high hospitalization and mortality rates, but studies did not find race or ethnicity as an independent risk factor.
Researchers have found that extreme obesity is an independent risk factor for worse outcomes. “We are not saying there is no gap, we are cutting away what is causing the gap,” Dr. Tartov said.
“We see that racial and ethnic minorities have worse consequences. They are also likely to be obese or have poor access to health care, and are likely to have comorbidities.” is.”
Among the Covid-19 patients in this study, those with extreme obesity, whose BMI was defined as 40 or higher, had a nearly three-fold higher risk of death than their normal weight. According to Tartov, people with a BMI of 45 had more than four times more mortality than normal weight patients, and the risk was most pronounced in men and people under the age of 60.
The study highlighted the intersection of two major health concerns, and Dr. Tartov highlighted the need for policy to address both.
“There are many things we can do to improve our fight against Covid. There are many things we can do to improve our strategy against obesity,” she said. “It’s also fashionable and something we need to pay attention to.”
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