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Obesity Leads to elevated risk of severe COVID-19 disease

big belly of a fat man

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security ,the US CDC updated its guidance regarding individuals at elevated risk of severe COVID-19 disease and death due to underlying medical conditions, including more detailed information regarding the risk associated with obesity. The previous iteration of the guidance noted that individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher were at elevated risk of severe COVID-19 disease. The most recent update includes multiple categories: obesity (BMI of greater than 30 but less than 40) and severe obesity (BMI of 40 or greater). Additionally, the guidance notes that individuals “having overweight” (BMI of greater than 25 but less than 30) may also be at elevated risk of severe disease. The expanded risk group could potentially mean that 72% of all Americans are at elevated risk of severe disease based solely on their weight. Notably, BMI does not accurately characterize body fat percentage or overweight/obesity in all individuals, but it provides a simplified metric to help categorize risk associated with these conditions.

Multiple recent studies provide data that help to better characterize COVID-19 risk stemming from overweight and obesity. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that individuals with overweight and obesity were at elevated risk of death and intubation (eg, for mechanical ventilation) compared to those with normal weight, even after adjusting for age, gender, and commonly associated conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. Another study, published in
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