Covid-19: body mass index of young people who are more likely to develop a severe form

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Several categories of the population are considered at risk of developing severe forms of Covid-19. This is particularly the case for the elderly and people affected by chronic diseases that can weaken their immune system, such as chronic respiratory conditions, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or obesity.

According to a recent British study, the higher the body mass index increases, the more young people are at risk of contracting an acute form of coronavirus.

According to the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, "the link between obesity and the risk of complications from Covid-19 has been proven." In particular, a recent study published in the scientific journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology looked at the effects of increased body mass index (BMI) on the risk of acquiring an acute form of the infection.

Are young and overweight patients at higher risk of developing severe forms of Covid-19?

The BMI is an indicator that allows you to evaluate your body size and see if you have a healthy weight or are in a situation of thinness, overweight or obesity. To calculate it, simply multiply your height by yourself, then divide your weight by the result. The final number is usually between 16.5 and 40.

For the purposes of the study, the scientists used QResearch, a database of records of more than 1,500 GP consultations in the UK. Therefore, they studied the medical data of 6.9 million Britons hospitalized after a Covid-19 infection between January 24 and April 20, 2020. Thanks to this research, the study authors obtained information on sex, age, BMI, social category, ethnicity and possible pathologies of the patients.

Result: Researchers found a significant link between an increase in BMI and acute forms of Covid-19, especially in young patients. Scientists say that the risk of serious forms that can lead to hospitalization increases when the BMI exceeds 23 (the so-called "normal" constitution).

This factor increases by 5% for each additional unit of BMI. Regarding the risk of mortality, it is given from a BMI of 28, which is one of the levels corresponding to overweight. It also increases by 5% for each unit of BMI crossed. "A BMI of 23 is the lowest point at which each BMI unit is clearly associated with an increased risk of hospital admission," explained Carmen Piernas, a nutrition researcher at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study.

The opening of vaccination to people over 18 years of age with comorbidities.

According to the results, patients between the ages of 18 and 39 are at risk of developing a severe form of the disease when their BMI exceeds 23, while "in people over 80 the associated risk is almost nil," adds Carmen Piernas. . "If you are young and in good health, the probability of having a serious form is much lower than for the elderly. But, among young people, those who are overweight have a much higher risk of having a serious Covid", specifies the scientist.

For researchers, therefore, it is essential that young people who are overweight or obese receive a vaccine against Covid-19.

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