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High risk of severe Covid-19 for obese people, regardless of other factors




  • Brazilian researchers have found that a high proportion of severe Covid-19 cases are associated with obesity.
  • This condition was an independent factor compared to other comorbidities and demographic factors.
  • It emphasizes the need to pay special attention to obese Covid-19 patients in hospitals.

Obesity is one of the biggest triggers in severe cases as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Other than illness, obesity has always had a negative impact on health through chronic inflammation, an increased risk of heart disease, and a weak response to viral infections.

But how important is it in relation to other conditions, age, gender, and race when it comes to severe coronavirus infections?

Read | Can the interaction of Covid-19 with existing bacteria explain the severity of obesity?

Obesity and other comorbidities

To answer this question Brazilian researchers conducted a meta-analysis of nine studies From 5 countries with severe Covid-19, including more than 6500 patients. More than half are male and have comorbidities such as hypertension (51.51%), diabetes (30.3%), cardiovascular disease (16.66%), lung disease (15.99%), kidney disease (7.49%) and cancer (5.07%). had. Immunosuppression (1.8%). The majority of patients were smokers and suffered from dyslipidemia, a condition involving high levels of cholesterol or fat in the blood.

They wanted to investigate the prevalence of obesity as a factor in severe Covid-19 cases requiring admission to the ICU. They also saw the best treatments that helped obese patients recover from the virus.

The studies they analyzed included case studies and series, clinical trials, and randomized controlled trials that referred to obesity. They found that people suffer from obesity in more than half of the severe cases. For other comorbidities, less than half had hypertension, but type 2 diabetes, lung disease, smokers, and cardiovascular disease each marked about 20%.

Read more | How to keep your child in quarantine

High risk of infection

Obesity is not only a major contributor to severe Covid-19, but the condition also indicates that these patients are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus in the first place.

Obese patients are also 3 to 6 times more likely to be ventilated, which can put a heavy burden on lung function. I’m already nervous because of obesity.

“The highlight of this study is that people with severe obesity are at increased risk of developing serious illnesses and require ICU care,” the researchers write.

“There was a high frequency of obesity among patients admitted to the intensive care unit due to Covid-19. Invasive ventilators were associated with severe obesity and were independent of age, gender, diabetes, or hypertension. . “

This means that obese patients, especially those with many comorbidities, require intensive hospital attention and care regarding coronavirus infections to avoid death.

Read | The immune system’s response to Covid-19 can be altered by obesity

More infectious

Researchers also argue that more obese populations carry more virulent strains and may be more infectious in general.

People with the flu have previously been found to release the virus for long periods of time, and the internal environment of the obese body slows the body’s response to fight the virus, so culturing stronger strains. You can also.

Compared to other populations, there are also younger cases in the obese population.


However, the analysis did not show any difference between non-obese and obese patients with severe Covid-19. More case-control studies are needed to compare case fatality rates between these two groups.

Other gaps in the literature they have identified include clinical features, infection prevention, reduced mortality, and overlapping efficient treatments.

“Providing public information to young adults, lowering the threshold for viral testing in obese people, and increasing vigilance against this at-risk population are needed to reduce the prevalence of severe Covid-19 disease. The researcher advises.

Read | Don’t Wait to Lose Weight: Eliminating Obesity in Youth Extends Life

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