COVID-19 Obesity

Updated Apr 29, 2021

1 APR 2020: Obesity and COVID-19 Severity in a Designated Hospital in Shenzhen, China (Lancet preprint)
“This is the first study showing that obesity, especially in men, significantly increases the risk of developing severe pneumonia in COVID-19 patients.”

1 JUL 2020: How important is obesity as a risk factor for respiratory failure, intensive care admission and death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients (European Journal of Endocrinology)
“Obesity is a strong, independent risk factor for respiratory failure, admission to the ICU and death among COVID-19 patients. Whereas a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 identifies a population of patients at high risk for severe illness, a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 dramatically increases the risk of death.” 
Press Release Link 16 Jul (MedicalExpress)

24 JUL 2020: Excess Weight and COVID-19: Insights from new evidence (Public Health England)

“The only striking positive comorbidity was obesity. However,
in NYC, obesity is also much more prevalent among low-income groups who are more likely to live in densely populated neighborhoods and to work in high-exposure jobs. Thus, it is quite possible that NYC’s obese population has a higher infection rate”

11 AUG 2020: Overweight, obesity, and risk of hospitalization for COVID-19: A community-based cohort study of adults in the United Kingdom (PNAS)
“In summary, overall and central obesity are risk factors for COVID-19 hospital admission. Elevated risk was apparent even at modest weight gain. The mechanisms may involve impaired glucose and lipid metabolism.” 

12 AUG 2020: Obesity and Mortality Among Patients Diagnosed With COVID-19 (Annals of Internal Medicine)
“Obesity plays a profound role in risk for death from COVID-19, particularly in male patients and younger populations.”

14 AUG 2020: Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Children Aged <18 Years Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 (CDC Early Release)
“This study, along with other studies of hospitalized children with COVID-19, found that obesity was the most prevalent underlying medical condition. Childhood obesity affects almost one in five U.S. children and is more prevalent in black and Hispanic children” 

26 AUG 2020: Individuals with obesity and COVID‐19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships (Obesity Reviews)
Press Release (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
“Researchers examined the available published literature on individuals infected with the virus and found that those with obesity (BMI over 30) were at a greatly increased risk for hospitalization (113%), more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (74%), and had a higher risk of death (48%) from the virus.”

25 FEB 2021: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Hospitalizations Attributable to Cardiometabolic Conditions in the United States: A Comparative Risk Assessment Analysis (Journal of American Heart Association)

  • Among >900 000 US coronavirus disease 2019 hospitalizations through November 18, 2020, nearly two thirds (63.5%) were estimated to be attributable to these cardiometabolic conditions, that is, preventable if these conditions had not been present.
  • Top risks were obesity (30.2%), hypertension (26.2%), and diabetes mellitus (20.5%).

28 APR 2021: Associations between body-mass index and COVID-19 severity in 6·9 million people in England: a prospective (Lancet)
“At a BMI of more than 23 kg/m2, we found a linear increase in risk of severe COVID-19 leading to admission to hospital and death, and a linear increase in admission to an ICU across the whole BMI range, which is not attributable to excess risks of related diseases. The relative risk due to increasing BMI is particularly notable people younger than 40 years and of Black ethnicity.”