Being overweight increases risk of more severe case of COVID, research finds

WESTON, Fla. – Being overweight isn’t just bad for your overall health, it can also increase the risk of having a more severe case of COVID-19.

Initial research from China showed about a two-fold risk of having more severe disease in overweight patients and a five-fold risk in people who were considered clinically obese.

Data from patients in Seattle, Wash. was even more alarming.

Researchers there saw a 7-fold increase for needing a ventilator and two times the risk of death in obese patients.

”Being overweight increases your risk of COVID in a couple of different ways,” said Dr. Samuel Gurevich, a pulmonologist with the Cleveland Clinic Weston. “One is that it does dispose you to other medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and sleep apnea, and that gives you less reserve to fight off infection and stand up to an acute illness,”

Gurevich said excess fat tissue in the body can also lead to inflammation of the lungs, which can come under attack during a coronavirus infection.

He underscored that weight is a risk factor that people can do something about and daily exercise, no matter what your current weight, can offer protective benefits against infection.

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