Higher Risk of Death by COVID-19 if You are Obese

Credits: Medpage Today

COVID-19 has been a threat for so many people across the world. The virus that started to enter countries in late 2019 is still invading the globe today with numerous deaths inside households and hospitals. It is also said to trigger any prior illness that can cause the death of a person, and one of those factors that can increase the risk of getting the virus is obesity.

Obesity or being overweight is characterized by gaining excessive fat, which can cause severe health complications. Research says that a body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.

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Being overweight and obese can be present in all ages and both gender. Obesity is the counterpart of malnutrition, and today, more children and adults are adding up to the number of patients who have the condition.

Diseases From Obesity That Can Affect One's Health

Obesity can cause a lot of severe illness to a person who is diagnosed with the condition. All diseases that underlie obesity are caused by the same health problems like high cholesterol, an increase of fatty acids, and inflammation that leads to insulin resistance. Which is mainly the cause other possible diseases, like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Mental disorders
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep Apnea

In turn, the medical issues mentioned deteriorate your body’s ability to fight off other viruses, including COVID-19. The illnesses caused by obesity can then lead to the diagnosis of the said virus. As a result, the combination of the COVID-19 with a pre-existing medical condition increases the risk of mortality.

Credits: The Newyorker

Studies Showing a Higher Rate of Death to People With Obesity

In an article by biomedcentral, based on several studies, patients with higher BMI, diagnosed with COVID-19, have a higher rate of ICU (Intensive Care Unit) admission than patients who have normal weight and are also diagnosed with the virus.

Other studies also show similar cases reporting how many obese or overweight patients linked to the COVID-19 virus are more greatly affected by the condition compared to other admitted patients. They explained that obesity includes impaired immunity, chronic inflammation, and blood that’s prone to clot, all of which can worsen COVID-19.

As mentioned, not only are obese patients the easiest preys of the COVID-19 virus, other severe complications, including, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, may worsen their case.

In other studies, it is specified by Anne Dixon, a physician-scientist who studies obesity and lung disease, how obese patients or overweight patients trigger other complications when infected by the virus. She stated that when the fat in the abdomen pushes up to the diaphragm, it causes the large muscle, which lies below the chest cavity, to impinge on the lungs and restrict airflow. This reduced lung volume leads to the collapse of airways in the lower lobes of the lungs, where more blood arrives for oxygenation than in the upper lobes.

Credits: Penn Medicine

They further emphasized how obese patients have lower immune systems. Again, obesity is a counterpart of malnutrition. Obesity alters leucocyte counts and cell-mediated immune responses. This means that obesity is a disease related to inflammatory components that is responsible for the development of metabolic diseases that are linked to the weakening of a person's immune system.

How to Prevent Serious Complications From COVID-19

There are several preventive measures to avoid the development of COVID-19 and the risk of death due to the virus. Here are some of the steps that one can take:

Credits: Healthline

  • Taking vitamins and supplements that can boost the immune system

    Vitamins A, C, E, D, and Zinc can regulate the human body to fight against the COVID-19 virus. It helps fight off bacteria, infection, and other viruses.

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  • Keep moving
    There are several indoor and outdoor activities that can help your body stay fit and active. Make some time where you can do a few physical activities like jogging, skipping ropes, lunges, bike, or family activities that can turn into fun games that can also work as a physical activity for the family. 

Credits: Safar Medical

  • Healthy lifestyle practices

    Being physically active is not enough without eating healthy. Maintain a balanced diet that can help you gain all the necessary nutrients your body needs. Eat meals that are more nutritious and have less fat and sugar. You can also replace your usual snack habits with fruit bowls or smoothies. Also, maintaining a well-balanced sleep pattern can help a lot in regulating stress and improving proper metabolism. 

    After the long battle with the situation where COVID-19 has been present in all parts of the world, many companies have started their mission to create a weapon that can protect people from the virus. Vaccines have become available for everyone to protect themselves while they start to gain their normal routine back. 

    However, aside from the presence of the vaccine, it is also important to maintain a healthy practice. Always keep in mind that the virus might always remain present, so continue having a healthy lifestyle. Eat properly, and be wise in choosing what to put in your body. Exercise as much as you can, a 15 to 20-minute workout a day is enough to keep you active. Lastly, multivitamins can also help a lot to maintain a good immune system. By doing so, you are decreasing the risk of COVID-19 death and establishing a strong health for the future.