The healthy BMI ranges between 18.5 and 25, but the new study shows that for every point above 23, a person’s risk of hospitalization from “Covid” increases by 5%.
They are also 10% more likely than their lean peers to need intensive care treatment.
But the risk is more important in younger adults, and someone between the ages of 20 and 39 has a 9% more risk of hospitalization, with each BMI score above 23.
They are 13% more likely to be admitted to the ICU, and 17% more likely to die than if they had a BMI of 23 or less.
As a result, the authors of the new study are suggesting that obese and overweight people should be prioritized for vaccination, rather than taking an age approach.
An analysis of nearly seven million anonymous health records of people living in England revealed 13,503 Covid-19 patients who needed hospital care between January 24 and April 30, 2020.
And Oxford University scientists compared the patient’s body mass index to the battle “Covid”, and found that the risk of developing severe disease increases with increasing body weight.
Previous studies found that obese people are more likely to suffer serious illness and die from “Covid-19”, but this is the first study that looks at the entire body mass index (BMI) range.
It revealed that body weight and age correlate with disease risk. The relationship was more pronounced in younger adults despite smaller numbers overall.
For example, people between the ages of 20 and 39 are 9% more likely to be hospitalized with more than 23 BMI points, but for someone over the age of 80, the risk is only 1%.
As a result, a 25-year-old with a BMI of 25, the upper bound of the “healthy” range, according to the NHS, has two BMI points above the threshold of 23. This means that if they contract the coronavirus, they are more likely to be hospitalized. 18% more than anyone with a BMI of 23.
The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, found that hospitalization risk gradually increased over a BMI of 23, and was independent of other pre-existing health conditions.
Lead author of the study, Dr Carmen Bernas, of the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences at the University of Oxford, said: “Our study shows that even very modest excess weight is associated with greater risks for severe Covid-19 complications, and the risks increase sharply with an increase in BMI. We also showed that the risks associated with excess weight are greater for people under the age of 40 years, while weight has little or no effect on the chances of developing severe “Covid-19” disease after the age of 80. These results indicate that vaccination policies should be taken. Priority is given to people who suffer from obesity, especially now that the vaccine is being launched for younger age groups.
The researchers say their study has several limitations, including that analyzing the effect of BMI may be limited by a smaller sample of people with recent measurements of BMI.
However, the results did not change when the researchers excluded BMI measurements that were more than a year old at the start of the study period.
Dr Naveed Starr, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, who was not involved in the study, said: “The most important question is whether helping people lose weight will reduce their chances of experiencing serious complications in subsequent waves. And overwhelming evidence, aided by this study, suggests that this is the case. What most countries need now is to upgrade their lifestyle intervention policies to help more people, and to intensify prevention efforts. ”
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