Covid severity rises with obesity, say experts

People with Covid-19 and also obesity have an increased risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and death.

Doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), in an educational and awareness programme organised on Thursday, said that obesity weakens the immune system, making the individual susceptible to infectious diseases.

Obese patients also suffer from coronary artery disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma that make them more vulnerable to Covid severity.

Head of gastro-surgery department at RMLIMS, Prof Anshuman Pandey said: “About 35 obese patients, who had gone through bariatric surgery (surgery to modify the stomach and intestines to treat obesity and related diseases) at RMLIMS in last two years, beat Covid-19 better than others with the same problem during the second wave. The main reason behind this was that their co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disease, blood pressure, thyroid and arthritis had improved after surgery.”

Head of department cardiology, Bhuvan Tiwari highlighted the ill effects of Covid-19 on the heart of obese patients.

He said: “Obesity is a modifiable risk factor of Covid-19 and our goal should be to achieve a healthy weight at the population level that might reduce adverse outcomes in near future.”