Covid-19: obese patients would be 4 times more likely to die

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People who are overweight or obese are widely represented in intensive care units for Covid-19 patients. Hypotheses have been revealed about the link between obesity and the risk of serious complications.

In mid-March, the High Authority for Public Health (HASP) listed people at risk of developing severe forms of Covid-19. It included the elderly, patients with chronic diseases (high blood pressure, kidney and heart failure), diabetics, and people with cancer.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, health professionals have made strong mention of another comorbid factor: obesity.

Obesity: 4 times more likely to die from Covid-19

A new study confirms the existence of an increased risk of death in patients suffering from obesity and suffering from Covid-19. For the purposes of this research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers followed 6,916 obese people affected by the coronavirus.

Outcome? "Obesity plays an important role in the risk of death from Covid-19, especially in male patients and younger populations," the study reads. It is also specified that overweight patients would be four times more likely to die within 21 days after diagnosis than normal weight patients.

Covid-19: the trace of immune failure in obese patients

In a report by the National Center for Intensive Care Audit and Research in London published in March, British researchers had already found that the majority of patients admitted to intensive care were affected by overweight or obesity. About seven out of ten patients were obese.

Given the alarming number of cases of Covid-19 in overweight people, the scientific community began to speculate from the beginning of the epidemic. For Frédéric Altare, a researcher at Inserm in Nantes France, the trace of immunological insufficiency should not be ruled out: "Now we know that many obese patients have immune dysfunction. But in obese people, there is a constant state of alertness of the organism that creates permanent over-inflammation. "

"It would then be a vicious circle: these patients who already have weakened respiratory capacities self-destruct with their own lymphocytes. This phenomenon alone could justify the most serious cases," explains the Sciences et Avenir researcher.

Covid-19: a link between obesity and severe forms

A study published last May and carried out by a team of French researchers from the Lille University Hospital and the Hospices Civils de Lyon, confirms that obesity would worsen the condition of patients affected by Covid-19.

Published in The Lancet Diabet & Endocrinology journal, this study confirmed the first observations of physicians: people who are overweight or obese are currently in particularly high numbers in hospital services.

These patients represent 25% of admissions due to suspected Covid-19 with symptoms, while they represent "only" 15% of the French adult population, according to Dr. Cyrielle Caussy, one of the study's origin specialists.

And that figure would even rise to 35% in intensive care units, where patients have a more severe form of the disease. Conclusion: A more fragile respiratory system and lungs, which would be less easily defended against the virus.

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