Early on in the pandemic, it became evident that a small number of risk variables had a significant influence on how severe COVID-19 was. Obesity and old age were two of them. Both seemed to weaken the body’s defenses against infection, making patients more susceptible to sudden sickness, hospitalization, and possibly death.
It’s natural for our immune systems to deteriorate with age, making us more prone to sickness. The epidemic has increased awareness of the possible consequences that it has on obesity, especially in younger people. But how does obesity affect COVID-19?
Obesity’s Effects On COVID-19 Patients
Obesity often comes with co-morbid illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea as well as a chronic inflammatory condition.
According to a recent CDC report that looked at COVID-19 patient data, hospitalizations were six times higher, ICU admissions five times higher, and deaths 12 times higher for patients with underlying health conditions like these as compared to patients without these conditions.
But in addition to making symptoms worse, obesity may make it more difficult to properly manage the condition.
Narrowed blood vessels or pre-existing lung damage might reduce the airway’s response to a ventilator, which could complicate recovery, especially if you have cardiovascular disease or pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, getting you into the prone position, which has been shown to assist COVID-19 patients in receiving more oxygen into their lungs, may be more challenging for hospital personnel.
What Link Does Obesity Have To More Serious COVID-19 Conditions?
If you have a high body mass index, your chance of experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms, being admitted to the hospital, and passing away from the virus triples.
Why is this the case? It is also known that the illness affects how strong your immune system is. Your body experiences heightened inflammation on a continual basis when you are obese. Your body is now circulating more proinflammatory proteins, and your white blood cell levels have changed as a result. Additionally, obesity is known to reduce lung capacity, which might make using a ventilator more challenging. All of these things together result in an immune system that isn’t functioning properly. Because of this, if you have COVID-19, your body may go into overdrive in fighting the virus, which might lead to serious illness or even death.
How To Avoid The Risks Involved With Obesity And COVID-19
Anyone who comes into contact with COVID-19 is taking a risk, but if you are obese, changing some of your habits or getting the right care can help you avoid all of these risks as much as possible. Surgical treatments are available if diet and exercise fail to help you reach your weight reduction objectives or if more serious health problems are present. The gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass are now the two most popular surgical treatments for obesity.
Although COVID-19 may affect anybody, obese individuals are at a greater risk. Your primary goal should be to take the right precautions and put your health first. Even if it may not protect you against the coronavirus, it could still end up saving your life.