Rise in weight increases the risk of enduring COVID-19

Research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal recently provides greater insight into the complications of COVID-19 and who are more likely at risk of the viral outbreak. The new findings lay down the potential risk factors affecting the demographics across age, and ethnicity. They, more importantly, show how weight gain is a potential contributor. The summary of the report is as follows.

  • Men who have an average height of 5.5 feet, who weigh more than 64kg have risk of hospitalization and admission into ICU increased independently if they have diabetes or other underlying conditions.
  • Women who have an average height of 5 feet, who weigh more than 53 kg, have risk of hospitalization and admission in ICU increased independently if they have diabetes or other underlying conditions.
  • Fast weight loss and weight maintenance in patients is required to avoid hospitalizations and admission into ICU due to Covid-19.

Published recently, this new study with close to 7 million patients analyzed fresh data of who is more likely to endure the adverse outcome of COVID-19 and its related complications. The observation provided a greater understanding of the effects and risk factors associated with weight gain and how even the slightest increase in BMI ranges matters, especially during the pandemic.

People below 40 years who have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 23 kg/m² are at a higher risk of hospitalization, admission to ICU and death

The research has found clear associations (J curve) between BMI and hospital admission and death due to COVID-19, and a linear association between BMI range and ICU admission due to COVID-19. These outcomes were largely independent of other health risk conditions/comorbidities such as Diabetes Type 2.

They also found a significant interaction between BMI and age. They find the risk of COVID-19 related death per unit increase of BMI, was the highest in the youngest age groups, decreasing with increasing age.

The findings also show people of Asian ethnicity that includes Indians and those with underlying conditions such as Diabetes Type 2 have been associated with the adverse outcomes of COVID-19. One main factor found to create the link is the tendency of fat stored in the abdominal region called the visceral fat. This type of fat is a marker for increased ectopic fat which is found around the liver, heart, or skeletal muscle. Accumulation of visceral fat, measured using CT scan, was independently associated with adverse outcomes of COVID-19. This article highlights the clear association between obesity and severe infection of COVID-19. The reason for this association is still pending, but researchers have suggested that the mechanism of these risks associated with obesity is due to a pro-inflammatory state which seems to be crucial in causing other health-related conditions linked to weight gain. However, since most obesity-related risks are improved with effective weight loss, weight-loss interventions might reduce COVID-19 disease severity.

Weight loss methods might reduce the severity of COVID-19 disease and is one of the main conclusions of the study

The value of this study is based on the analysis of a large sample of cases and a representative population of 7 million patients. The report helped understand the association with outcomes of COVID-19 across the full BMI range and found a linear increase in hospitalizations, admission into ICU, and death linked to people with a BMI higher than 23 kg/m². This is not attributable to excess risks of related diseases. The risk due to increase units of BMI is particularly notable with people who are below 40 years.

The study conducted was from a large population which emphasizes that excess weight is closely linked to increased risks of severe COVID-19. Weight loss might be an effective approach towards reducing the severe outcomes of COVID-19.

Seeking the intervention of a weight-loss method that follows the protocol of the Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet (VLCK Diet) and guided by a multidisciplinary team of certified health professionals can help you lose weight rapidly at the expense of fat while the muscle mass is preserved. This approach has efficacy with no side effects and is safe to follow.

Reference link

Min Gao*, Carmen Piernas*, Nerys M Astbury, Julia Hippisley-Cox, Stephen O’Rahilly, Paul Aveyard†, Susan A Jebb†; Associations between body-mass index and COVID-19  severity in 6·9 million people in England: a prospective, community-based, cohort study; April 28, 2021. Lancelot Diabetes & Endocrinology Journal

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