The COVID-19 is a relatively new disease and it might take time to gather adequate information. But, a recent NHS survey suggested that over 60% of COVID-19 patients under intensive care are either overweight or morbidly obese.

The study conducted by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre analyzed all hospital admissions of the coronavirus patients at intensive care wards in UK hospitals until now. The findings revealed the following:

  • Overweight or obese patients made up 64% of COVID-19 patients in ICU.
  • More than a third of critically ill were under 60
  • 71% of them were male
  • 9% of them had an underlying health issue such as heart or lung diseases

Previous studies have suggested that overweight and obese patients might be at a higher risk of serious complications or death from infections including the flu. Health experts have pointed to several reasons why these patients are more likely to be infected.

How does obesity increase one’s chances of developing the deadly infection? Being overweight or obese can affect one’s immune system and increase inflammation. This can make it harder for the immune system to fight against the deadly virus.

Also, individuals with excess body weight might have more weight on their diaphragm. This can put a lot of pressure on their lungs and thereby, make it harder for them to breathe and they end up starving for oxygen, mentioned The Sun.

Moreover, clogged up arteries can also make it harder for the blood-carrying immune cells to travel and circulate to fight the coronavirus infection.

These factors might explain why the lungs of overweight and obese individuals might deteriorate faster when the novel coronavirus hits, compared to that of a person with normal BMI.

The coronaviruses invade deep into the lungs and cause pneumonia-like complications and have killed more than 16,000 people worldwide.

Several factors, including a lack of exercise or dietary patterns, can increase an obese individual’s chances of falling seriously ill with COVID-19.

According to the Daily Mail, studies have suggested that regular physical activity increases the number of immune cells in the body and can help boost one’s immune activity.

obesity-993126_1920 Obesity epidemic is on the rise Photo: taniadimas, Pixabay