Obesity may be a risk factor in deaths caused by COVID-19, concludes a new analysis published in the journal Obesity by GW Milken Institute School of Public Health experts.
Carlos Santos-Burgoa, MD, MPH, PhD, a professor of global health; and William Dietz, MD, PhD, chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, looked at previous research on the H1N1 influenza pandemic as well as reports coming in from Italy and China and concluded that obesity is likely a pre-existing disease that can make COVID-19 worse.
“The H1N1 influenza experience should serve as a caution for the care of COVID patients with obesity, and particularly patients with severe obesity,” the authors point out adding that the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. has been on the rise. According to the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 42 percent of all adults in the US have obesity or severe obesity.
The Letter to the Editor, “Obesity and its Implications for COVID-19 Mortality” was published in Obesity on April 1.