A new study commissioned by the World Bank has found that obese patients with COVID-19 have a 50% higher chance of dying from the disease. The study, carried out by researchers from the University of North Carolina in the US, found that patients with a BMI greater than 30 have a 113% greater risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19, a 74% greater chance of being admitted to intensive care and a 48% higher risk of dying. Obese patients often have co-morbidities from sleep apnoea to type-2 diabetes, which can make it harder for the body to fight off infections.
In addition it is suggested that a COVID vaccine might not work as well on obese patients. ‘We know a Covid vaccine will have a positive effect on obese people but we suspect from all our knowledge from tests on the SARS vaccine and the flu vaccine it will have a diminished benefit compared to the others,” said Professor Barry Popkin, lead researcher.
The study, which brought together separate studies from around the world, including China, Italy, the US and the UK, is published in the September edition of Obesity Reviews.