Obesity and COVID

August 24, 2020

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Anchor lead: Obese men are at especially high risk for severe Covid-19 disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Obesity is confirmed as a risk factor for severe Covid-19, a study in Annals of Internal Medicine reports. David Kass, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins who wrote an accompanying editorial, says these studies provide further evidence of  obesity’s role in disease.

Kass: With obesity the body is not going to be able to deal with immune challenges, other stress challenges. It’s everywhere. And that makes it harder to flip the switch back to people understanding that, I’m not saying its cancer but it is a disease in a sense. It is something that is gradually going to make it harder for you to deal with other stuff. Just like having a really high cholesterol doesn’t hurt you in any obvious ways until you have a heart attack. High blood pressure, it is there, it’s a risk.                :32

Kass points out that younger obese men in these studies were most likely to be impacted, perhaps because their fat tends to be abdominal and more pro-inflammatory. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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