Research recently showed a link between obesity in COVID-19 patients and a longer time of stay in the intensive care unit.

Specifically, as specified in a The Daily Star report, in a patient who has COVID-19, a high body mass index or BMI is linked to no juts prolonged stay in ICU but an increased risk of death, as well, according to the new study carried out by researchers at the Sweden-based University of Gothenburg and colleagues.

Past studies have shown that a high BMI is considered a risk factor for severe conditions of COVID-19. Besides, obesity heightens the risk of comorbidities like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, it has been found to increase the necessity for mechanical ventilation inked to other respiratory infectious diseases like pneumonia and influenza.

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Science Times - Obesity in COVID-19 Patients: Study Links the Condition to Longer ICY Stay, Increased Risk of Death
(Photo: Navy Medicine from Washington, DC, the USA on Wikimedia Commons)
A chest tube was placed for a patient in the intensive care unit aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). Comfort cares for critical and noncritical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status.

Increased Risk of Death and Longer ICU Stay

Data from a national quality registry, the Swedish Intensive Care Registry that covers all ICUs in Sweden, were utilized to analyze the findings of this new study published in PLOS ONE.

As a result, the said data showed that each patient was above 18 years of age and had existing weight and height data.

Furthermore, the study involved patients admitted to ICUs Between March 6 and August 30 last year who tested positive for COVID-19.

Of these patients, 78.3 percent of the study group was obese or overweight. Increasing BMI was linked to a higher composite result of fatality in intensive care or a 14-day stay in the ICU among survivors.

Meanwhile, a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or higher doubled the risk of death or a longer ICU stay, adjusted for age and gender. The link persisted even after correcting for certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal or liver disease, hypertension, and severity of illness at intensive care admission.

Study Findings

A related Medical Xpress report said the study investigators concluded that "obesity is an independent risk factor" for the severe outcome from ICU in patients with COVID-19 and proposed that BMI be part of the severity scoring for ICU patients with COVID-19 ICU.

Commenting on their study, the researchers also said based on their research findings; they suggest that people with obesity need to be more closely monitored and observed when admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.

Obesity and Overweight Associated with COVID-19

The result of earlier research published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology suggested that people with obesity and who are overweight should be a priority in terms of vaccination in the fight against COVID-19, instead of carrying on with age approach.

Additionally, an assessment of almost seven million anonymized health records of people living in England showed that over 13,500 COVID-19 patients needed hospital care from January 24 to April 30 in 2020.

Researchers at the University of Oxford compared the patients' BMI with their battle against COVID-19 and found that the danger of severe infection increased along with bodyweight.

Past research showed that obese people are more at risk of severe infection from COVID-19 and death from the illness, even though this was the first research to investigate the BMI range.

Related information about the link between obesity and COVID-19 is shown on WION's YouTube video below:

RELATED ARTICLE: Severe COVID-19: How Does Bodyweight Contribute to Risk of Contracting the Virus?

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