Obese individuals are more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19, according to new findings published in Circulation. Obesity was also linked to higher rates of in-hospital mortality and mechanical ventilation.
The analysis included data from the American Heart Association’s COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry. More than 7,500 patients from 88 different U.S. hospitals were included in the study.
When categorizing individuals by their BMI, normal weight was defined as a BMI of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2. Overweight was defined as a BMI of 25-29.9 kg/m2, class 1 obesity was a BMI of 30-34.9 kg/m2, class II obesity was a BMI of 35-39.9 kg/m2 and class III obesity was a BMI of more than 40 kg/m2.
After making adjustments, a high BMI was also linked to dialysis initiation and venous thromboembolism.
The team also noted that, looking at unadjusted models, overweight and obese patients were at a lower risk of experiencing a major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE). Once making adjustments, however, “there was no association between obesity classes and MACE.”
“These observations support rigorous adherence to COVID-19 prevention strategies in obese individuals of all ages,” wrote lead author Nicholas S. Hendren, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues. “Clear public health messaging is needed for younger obese individuals who may underestimate their risk of severe COVID-19.”