Research Says This Is Your Number One Risk Factor for Catching COVID19
Around 69% of Americans have a body mass index of 25 to 29.9 (overweight) and 35-39.9 (obese). Among these people, 6.9% are severely obese with a BMI over 40. The risk of obesity and COVID-19 infections and death increases severely with the rise in BMI. The risk of high blood pressure, stroke, type-2 diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, various types of cancer, and non-alcoholic liver disease is increased by obesity. People who are obese and who also have been hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infection can develop these conditions far more often.
Here are 15 reasons as to why experts have been lead to believe that obesity is the number one risk factor for catching COVID-19.
1COVID-19 can be hidden in fat
Excess adipose or fat tissue can be used as a hideout by the coronavirus researchers suggest. In these tissues, the virus can replicate and facilitate viral shedding and transmission of the infection. Evidence points out the fact that there have been cases of severe symptoms of COVID-19 in people with obesity as compared to those with a normal BMI.
2The risk of getting infected with COVID-19 is increased by obesity
According to a recent study in the UK, it was found that with the increase in BMI and waist circumference, the risk of contracting the coronavirus increased as well. The risk percentage of becoming infected with COVID-19 due to the following factors increased by:
- Overweight- 31%
- Obese- 55%
- Severe obesity- 57%
3The risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 increases due to obesity
In a recent study which analyzed 387,019 members of the UK biobank revealed that the risk of hospitalization from COVID infections increased by 32% for overweight people and 97% for obese people.
People with obesity were 4 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID while people with severe obesity were 6 times more likely in comparison to people with a BMI less than 30. This was reported by a May 2020 study published in the British Medical Journal.
4The outcome of COVID infections are impacted by obesity
In the Journal of Virology, a recent meta-analysis was published which concluded that the risk of severe COVID infection was increased by a factor of 2.5 while the risk of a poor outcome increased by a factor of 2.3 due to obesity.
In the journal Obesity, Research and Clinical Practice, a recent meta-analysis observed 403,535 COVID-19 patients and concluded that in comparison to those with a normal BMI, people with obesity had-
- A sevenfold increased risk of needing respiratory support
- Two times the risk of becoming critically ill
- A quadrupled risk of dying
5The risk of dying from COVID-19 infections is increased by obesity
According to the reports of many studies, higher BMIs increase the risk of dying from COVID-19. A study published in May 2020, in the British Medical Journal which analyzed 20,133 patients with COVID-19 reported a 33% higher risk of death for those who were obese.