Covid-19 and Obesity a Worrisome Combination

How Covid-19 can affect obese people the most

Dr Tulip, Chief Bariatric Surgeon at Dr Tulip's Obesity and Diabetes Surgery Hospital, and a Patron of SeekMed, said,  "It is a common observance that the obese individuals are seen to get breathless on walking for short distances, more prone to pneumonia, asthama. Many suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This is because obesity interferes with the expansion of the lungs by  compressing  the chest, lungs and the diaphragm. Also obesity does not come alone and is associated with diabetes, hypertension , dyslipedemia, infertility etc

Coming to the COVID 19 situation. The lungs are the organs most affected by COVID‐19. The virus that causes COVID-19 infects people of all ages. However, evidence to date suggests older people (that is people over 60 years old); and those with underlying medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer).

Hence it is paramount that those who are obese, having diabetes, hypertension, having respiratory problems need to take extreme care, consult at the slightest symptoms with a doctor . Video consult is best and safe in these trouble times."

COVID-19, Obesity and the role of Endocrinologist

Dr Himika Chawla, Senior Consultant, Endocrinology and diabetology, PSRI Hospital & a Patron of SeekMed, said, "According to an international study published in NCBI obese patients who contracted COVID19 are 113% more likely to require hospitalization, 74% more likely to require ICU admission and 48% more likely to die. 

There are multiple pathophysiological factors that could contribute in these COVID 19 related complications in obese patients. Firstly, the abdominal fat in obese patients  pushes the diaphragm up and reduces the lung volumes and adversely alters the mechanics of lung ventilation. Secondly, obesity is associated with multiple comorbidities like diabetes, chronic heart disease. Thirdly, obesity results in a state of chronic inflammation in the body along with impaired immunity. So the immune cells are both reduced in number and becomes less effective. Last but definitely not the least, obesity promotes a state of hypercoagulability in the body which is associated with adverse outcomes in COVID19 patients.

However, even though we increasingly realize that the sickest COVID19 patients are frequently obese, the burden of obesity is continuously increasing in the current pandemic situation. This could be due to reduced outdoor activities and reduced access to weight loss programs.

Further there is also evidence to suggest that even small amount of weight reduction goes a long way in improving metabolic health and reduces the chances of severe COVID19 infection. Thus patients with obesity should wash hands, wear masks, avoid large gatherings and exercise. In addition, assessment by an endocrinologist can be of significant help in identifying the cause of obesity, associated comorbidities and ruling out any hormonal causes of obesity. Metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance is rapidly increasing and is the most important cause of obesity in the current times. Plus hormonal disorders of cortisol excess, polycystic ovaries disease in women also result in obesity. These diseases can be easily addressed by consultation with an endocrinologist and some blood investigations. Medications to manage these disorders in addition to maintaing a healthy lifestyle can help prevent severe COVID19 infection and other comorbidities in patients with obesity.

Most importantly, the availability of teleconsultations through global platforms are of immense help for patients who can now easily access medical care from even remote locations without the risk of contracting COVID19 infection by visiting hospitals."

Covid-19 and Obesity a Worrisome Combination Covid-19 and Obesity a Worrisome Combination Reviewed by Newzpot on 19:30:00 Rating: 5
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