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Obesity Tied to Long-Term COVID-19 Complications

Increases seen for hospital admission, mortality, need for diagnostic medical tests occurring 30+ days after positive COVID-19 test

obese woman

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate and severe obesity is associated with a greater risk for postacute sequelae of COVID-19, according to a study published online June 1 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Ali Aminian, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues followed 2,839 patients who did not require intensive care unit admission and survived the acute phase of COVID-19 for eight months from 30 days following a positive viral test.

The researchers found that 43 percent of patients required medical diagnostic tests, 44 percent had hospital admission, and 1 percent of patients died. The risk for hospital admission was 28 percent higher in patients with moderate obesity and 30 percent higher in patients with severe obesity compared with patients with a normal body mass index (BMI). Similarly, the need for diagnostic tests was 25 percent higher in patients with moderate obesity and 39 percent higher in patients with severe obesity compared with patients with normal BMI.

"The observations of this study can possibly be explained by the underlying mechanisms at work in patients who have obesity, such as hyper-inflammation, immune dysfunction, and comorbidities," a coauthor said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text

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