Study: Weight loss improves COVID-related outcomes

Researchers say a new study clearly supported the notion that obesity can indeed be a “modifiable risk factor” for the severity of COVID-19 infection.

Substantial weight loss, even if achieved through bariatric surgery, improved COVID-related outcomes among people with obesity, a new study found.

But what happened after infection was a different story, the group reported in Jama Surgery.

Despite a body mass index in the obese range at the time of testing positive, the surgical weight loss group had nearly half the risk of hospitalization.

Those who underwent weight loss surgery also saw a 63% lower risk for needing supplemental oxygen and a 60% lower risk for having a severe case of COVID-19, both statistically significant compared with nonsurgical controls.

Researchers added that this study clearly supported the notion that obesity can indeed be a “modifiable risk factor” for the severity of COVID-19 infection.

And real world data continues to support the need for additional COVID-19 vaccine doses for the immunocompromised.

Among immunocompromised individuals vaccinated against COVID-19, solid organ transplant recipients, as well as those with HIV and rheumatoid arthritis, were significantly more likely to experience breakthrough infections versus people without immune dysfunction, a retrospective study found.

No significant increase in breakthrough infection rates were seen among people with multiple sclerosis or bone marrow transplant recipients.

Nearly all individuals in the overall study were fully vaccinated, which was associated with a 28% lower breakthrough infection risk compared to those who were only partially vaccinated.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.