Researchers at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, analyzed published literature on patients with novel coronavirus and found individuals with obesity, defined as a BMI over 30, were more likely to be hospitalized and admitted to the ICU, according to a news release provided to Fox News.
OBESITY TIED TO MORE SEVERE CORONAVIRUS ILLNESS, DOCTORS SAY
The team of researchers also stated obese individuals had a higher risk of death by 48%, according to a news release on the UNC website.
Individuals with obesity can have metabolic changes that result in inflammation, issues with insulin, and the immune system which can hamper the person’s ability to fight COVID-19, according to the news release provided to Fox News.
“All of these factors can influence immune cell metabolism, which determines how bodies respond to pathogens, like the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus,” coauthor Melinda Beck, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the Gillings School, said in the release. “Individuals with obesity are also more likely to experience physical ailments that make fighting this disease harder, such as sleep apnea, which increases pulmonary hypertension, or a body mass index that increases difficulties in a hospital setting with intubation.”