Doctors report that 65 to 80% of COVID-19 patients in intensive care wards are overweight. Many of them are young people, and it's a very disturbing fact for Canada where the obesity rate is one of the highest in the world.
A study published in March 2020 analyzed the data from 112 COVID-19 patients. 17 of these patients died, and 15 of them were overweight or obese on the BMI (body mass index) scale.
How do experts explain it?
Obesity is a disruption of energy balance that leads to weight gain and immune system dysfunction. This imbalance puts people with obesity at increased risk of complications of infections — including the novel coronavirus.
Besides, obesity increases the risk of a breathing problem called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a major complication of COVID-19.
Similar to cases with other respiratory infections, obesity plays a huge role in COVID‐19 transmission. It increases the duration of virus shedding — patients with obesity shed virus 42% longer than people who do not have obesity.
While age is the most common demographic factor, obesity is among important diseases in terms of risk of being hospitalized. A recent study examined the factors associated with critical illness among 4103 patients with COVID-19 for one month. It revealed that the strongest hospitalization risks were age over 75, obesity and history of heart failure — in that exact order.Read full article at The New York Times
Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press