CDC Releases Data Reaffirming Link Between Obesity and Severe COVID Risk

A large majority of individuals who were hospitalized, in need of a ventilator or died from COVID-19 were overweight or obese, according to a study released recently by the Centers for Disease Control.

It has previously been reported that people with heart disease and diabetes are at a higher risk for developing severe complications as a result of COVID-19. Research has long shown that people with obesity have an increased risk for serious diseases and health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more. 

This new CDC study reaffirms that risk, strengthening the correlation between obesity and poorer health outcomes as a result of COVID -19.

A couple key takeaways from the study:

  • 78% of COVID -19 patients who have been hospitalized, needed a ventilator or died have been overweight or obese
  • In the U.S., 42% were considered obese in 2018 but almost 51% of patients with COVID -19 were obese.

 “As clinicians develop care plans for COVID-19 patients, they should consider the risk for severe outcomes in patients with higher BMIs, especially those with severe obesity,” CDC researchers wrote.

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They also noted these findings highlight the implications of higher BMIs including the need for intensive management of COVID-19 associated illness and the need of policies to support healthy behaviors.

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