Obesity With COVID-19 Increases Mortality Rate

COVID-19 and obesity
Credit: sciencemag.org

COVID-19 pandemics spread across the globe irrespective of age, gender, nation, community, and race. However, the risk of developing coronavirus infection increases in some circumstances. For example, a person with obesity is more likely to develop complications with coronavirus infection. Similarly, a person with a compromised immune system is at a higher risk of suffering from coronavirus.

According to the new findings, obesity is a risk factor for coronavirus infection. Obesity leads to hospitalization and death from coronavirus infection. Also, obesity itself is a causing factor of many diseases, which is why doctors recommend people to maintain a healthy weight. Every individual must maintain their ideal weight, according to age, gender, and height. 

Besides, a healthy lifestyle and eating habits are essential for increasing life expectancy. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the CNN Chief Medical Correspondent. He explains how obesity affects the progress rate and recovery rate of coronavirus in a person who is obese.

Does Obesity Contributes To COVID-19?

The novel coronavirus causes SARS-COV2 disease that affects the respiratory system of the patient and may result in death. According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, obese people with coronavirus infection have a high death rate.

ALSO READ: Obesity Increases Risk Of COVID-19 Infection

Forty percent of the U.S. adult population who are obese as well as develop coronavirus infections have shown complications, prolonged-hospitalization, and increased risk of death. The conclusion was made by analyzing more than 400,000 COVID-19 patients. Moreover, a comparison between the healthy-COVID-19 patients and obese-COVID-19-patients occurs. The purpose was to determine the impact of obesity on the virus and infection. 

According to the study, obese people with coronavirus infection are 113% more likely to end up in a hospital. Additionally, 74% of such patients have a high risk of being in the intensive care unit (ICU). The death rate in such patients is likely to increase by 48%.

According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, fat cells accumulate in the bodies of obese people, and fat cells act as a reservoir for the coronavirus. The H2 receptor present in multiple cells’ surfaces acts as a binding site for the coronavirus. The fat cells have a large number of H2 receptors on their outer surface. Thus, the fat cells are known to act as a reservoir for COVID-19. 

How Weight Gain Impacts On Coronavirus Patients?

Usually, when an individual breathes, the diaphragm contributes to the expansion and contraction of the lungs. Further, it allows air to move in and out to full capacity. However, obesity disturbs and limits the movements of the diaphragm and hence interrupts the breathing process. Moreover, it limits the air-capacity that an individual can breathe in and out. Thus, it makes respiration difficult for an obese person. 

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The coronavirus affects the respiratory system and causes the lungs to become unable to perform effectively. When obesity and COVID-19 combine in an individual, it increases the risk of hospitalization and death. Apart from this, obesity is an underlying cause of multiple diseases that include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, lung diseases, chronic inflammation, and compromised immune system. 

Obesity can increase the risk of clotting in the blood that can lead to stroke, brain hemorrhage, and other blood vessel-related health issues. Also, when a person develops a coronavirus infection, the virus damages the endothelial lining of blood vessels. Thus, obesity leads to multiple diseases, and with coronavirus, the risk of morbidity, mortality, and complication increases. 

Yet, according to Dr. Sanjay, coronavirus can affect anyone, whether they are obese or not. He recommends everyone take precautionary measures seriously. Besides, everyone must wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash their hands frequently, and use sanitizers more often. Also, people who are obese must adopt healthy eating habits and need lifestyle alterations.

Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.