Obesity and COVID-19

May 18, 2020

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Anchor lead: Obesity is emerging as a leading risk factor for severe Covid-19 disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports

High blood pressure, heart conditions, older age – these are all risk factors for more severe Covid-19 disease, and now David Kass, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues around the country have found that obesity is also a risk, and that’s a problem as the pandemic moves across certain areas of the US.

Kass: In the US it varies but overall the obesity rates are more like 40%. It was also looming that this could be a real issue as the disease went from western California and the Northwest where BMIs in the US are more like Europe and New York, where the average BMI is actually kind of like Europe so 20%ish. Now it’s moving into the South and the Midwest of the nation where obesity rates are higher. You end up seeing more in the 40% range.   :31

Kass says people need to factor this in in their own assessments of risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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