Covid 19Health Trends

Obesity in Patients Younger than 60 years Could Increase Risk of COVID-19 Hospitalization

COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a spectrum of disease that ranges from asymptomatic disease, mild symptoms, to severe pneumonia which may result in respiratory difficulties. Essentially, not all persons who get infected with SARS-CoV2 develop severe disease, but those with certain risk factors including advanced age (typically older than 65 years), diabetes, history of immunosuppression, and organ failure.

However, a group of researchers at the Departments of Pediatrics, Infection Prevention and Control, and Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, NY have uncovered a previously unrecognized risk factor for severe disease and critical care in young patients with COVID-19 – obesity.

This retrospective study found that patients younger than 60 years who had a BMI greater than 30 had two-three times the risk of developing severe disease and admitted to critical care than those whose BMI was less than 30. The study found this factor to cause significant differences in admission and rates of ICU care only among patients younger than 60.

This has diagnostic and prognostic implications for young obese patients who contract COVID-19 infection, as it could potentially increase morbidity and mortality rates in countries with a high prevalence of obesity among the young.

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