A study conducted by the American Hospital “Cleveland Clinic” showed that survivors of infection with the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19) who are moderately or severely obese may be at greater risk of long-term consequences of the disease, compared to their non-obese counterparts.
The results of the study were recently published online in the journal “Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism,” which specializes in diabetes, obesity and metabolism.
Multiple studies have indicated obesity as a risk factor that contributes to the development of a severe form of infection with “Corona”, which requires hospitalization and obtaining intensive care, and artificial respiration support at an early stage of the disease.
Obesity, a complex disease caused by multiple factors, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, blood clots and lung disease. Obesity also weakens the immune system and causes chronic infections. These conditions can lead to poor outcomes after infection with the virus.
“This study indicates, for the first time, that patients with moderate to severe obesity are at greater risk of developing long-term complications of the disease,” said Dr. Ali Aminian, director of the Obesity and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and principal investigator of the new study. “Corona” after entering the acute stage of the disease.
In this observational study, the researchers used a registry of patients who tested positive for “Corona” infection within the Cleveland Clinic health system in a five-month period between March and July 2020, with follow-up until January 2021.
The researchers examined three indicators of possible long-term complications of “Corona” that occurred 30 or more days after the first positive test for infection with the virus; hospitalization, death, and the need for diagnostic medical examinations. Outcomes were compared among five groups of patients based on BMI: 18.5-24.9 (normal), 25-29.9 (overweight), 30-34.9 (mildly obese), 35-39.9 (moderately obese), and 40 or more (obese). severe). Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more.
The final results included a total of 2,839 patients who did not need to be admitted to intensive care, and who survived the acute stage of “Corona”. The normal BMI group was used as a reference for the results.
The study found that a health condition called the consequences of acute infection with “Corona” emerged as a common problem among survivors. During a follow-up of 10 months after the acute phase of the disease, 44% of those studied required hospitalization, and 1% died.
The results also showed that the risk of hospitalization increased by 28% for those with moderate obesity, and 30% for those with severe obesity, compared to those with a normal body mass index.
The need to perform diagnostic tests to evaluate various medical problems was 25% and 39% higher in patients with moderate and severe obesity, respectively, compared to those with a normal BMI.
The researchers found that the need for diagnostic tests to assess cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal and mental health problems was significantly higher in patients with a BMI of 35 or greater than in those with a normal BMI.
“The observations from this study can be explained by underlying mechanisms that are active in obese patients, such as excessive inflammation, immune impairment, and comorbidities,” said Dr. Bartolome Borghera, president of the Cleveland Clinic’s Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism and co-author of the study. . He added, “These cases can lead to poor results in the acute phase of infection with (Corona) in obese patients, and can also lead to an increased risk of long-term complications in these patients.”
• Obesity weakens the immune system and causes chronic infections.
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