Does Obesity Make Covid19 Worse?

The risk of greater COVID-19 severity and death is higher in people with any obese body mass index (BMI), according to a study to be published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. The study findings showed that BMI over 30 was associated with a significantly higher risk of respiratory failure, admission to intensive care and death in COVID-19 patients, regardless of age, gender and other associated diseases. The current guidelines for identifying those at higher risk in the UK are set at a BMI of 40 but these data suggest people with BMI over 30 should also be classified as at risk.

Obesity is a growing, global epidemic linked to numerous diseases and an increased risk of death. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several studies have implicated obesity as a risk factor for more severe effects and death in Sars-COV-2 infection. The UK and USA guidelines for identifying those at greater risk are set at a BMI of 40 and above. However, these recommendations were necessarily based on smaller studies and limited data, given the novelty and fast progression of the Sars-COV-2 pandemic.

Dr Matteo Rottoli and colleagues from the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna in Italy, analysed the outcomes of almost 500 patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Again, they found that obesity was associated with a significantly higher risk of severity and death but also that any BMI higher than 30 was associated with these adverse outcomes.

Excerpted from EurekAlert!

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