Obese people are considerably more likely to have long-term health problems if they receive COVID-19 and survive, according to a recent study.
Obesity Increases Risk Of Long-COVID
They are more likely to be hospitalized than non-obese people. Researchers found that obese individuals are more likely to end up in the intensive care unit, require a ventilator, and suffer from long-term COVID than non-obese individuals.
According to the main researcher Dr. Ali Aminian, head of the Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, around 40% of COVID-19 survivors may develop chronic COVID-19 difficulties, and the likelihood of experiencing these issues is approximately 30% greater in patients with obesity.
These startling results are just another reason why everyone, especially fat individuals, should get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Aminian.
His team gathered data on over 2,800 COVID patients treated at the Cleveland Clinic between March and July 2020 for the research. Patients were monitored till late January of the current year.
During the follow-up period, 44 percent of patients needed to be hospitalized, and one percent died.
According to the study, people with moderate and severe obesity had a 28 percent to 30 percent increased chance of hospitalization when compared to other individuals. Their requirement for testing for other medical issues was also 25% to 39% greater.
The study found that the demand for diagnostic tests for disorders of the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system, as well as mental health issues, was substantially greater.
These data imply that those with a BMI (body mass index, a measure of body fat based on height and weight) of 35 or above are more likely to develop long-term COVID than people with a normal BMI.
Obese patients should be warned about their increased risk of COVID-19, including in the acute and chronic phases of the disease, according to Aminian.
To lessen their risk, he recommended all patients follow public health advice and be vaccinated.
Furthermore, Aminian stated that a long-term and thorough follow-up of individuals with obesity who got COVID-19 is required to treat the disease’s chronic repercussions.
Dr. David Katz is the head of the True Health Initiative, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy living. Obesity and its associated cardiac issues, he observed, are persistent predictors of poor COVID-19 results.
According to Katz, who was not involved in the study, this data suggests an increased risk of long-haul COVID-19.
According to him, some of the possible causes include increased inflammation, endocrine disruptions, and mechanical consequences of fat that might affect breathing and repositioning.
The current study also urges more research into additional variables that may lead to differences in COVID results. These include patients’ economic condition, diets and availability to nutritional meals, and access to medical treatment, according to Katz.
He stated that the data demonstrate the impact that obesity has on general health as well as on a person who is stressed by a lethal, infectious condition.
This study emphasizes the significance of a pandemic that existed before SARS-CoV-2 and would exist after it, namely the obesity pandemic, according to Katz. With or without COVID, this in-your-face epidemic saps years from lives and years from lives, and it begs for collective response.
While a variety of lesser long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection have been described, including psychiatric problems, weariness, brain fog, muscular weakness, and sleep issues, the current study did not contain information on such symptoms.
The fact that up to 44 percent of patients required hospitalization following COVID-19, independent of weight status, is concerning, according to the authors.
These data indicate a significant scale of the public health burden of long-distance COVID-19 infection in a global environment, they stated.