BMI and the link to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
April 17th, 2020
According to new Health and government guidelines, those with a BMI of 40+, are more susceptible to contracting the Coronavirus (COVID19).
Almost two thirds of patients who fall seriously ill from coronavirus are obese and nearly 40 per cent are under the age of 60, a recent NHS audit has revealed.
Sixty-three per cent of patients in intensive care in UK hospitals because of the killer virus are overweight, obese or morbidly obese. The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre analysed all admissions to critical care units in the UK up until midnight Thursday 9th April.
Facts about Obesity and COVID-19
- Covid-19 has been linked to respiratory issues, so if a person is carrying excess weight it can cause pressure upon the body – especially the chest and lungs and cause issues with breathing.
- People with a higher BMI also tend to eat a diet with very little fibre and antioxidants – which keep the immune system healthy – such as fruit and vegetables.
- Excess weight makes it more difficult for the lungs and diaphragm to expand and inhale oxygen.
- Once starved of Oxygen organs will start to fail.
- Those with a BMI over 40 should take extra care and ensure they are following all the social-distancing and/or isolation measures set out by the government.
- Doctors say the immune systems of people with a higher BMI are constantly ramped up as they try to protect and repair the damage inflammation causes to cells.
- Using all its energy fending off inflammation means the body’s defence system has few resources left to defend against a new infection like COVID-19.
- There are several other factors that may increase an obese person’s chance of falling seriously ill with coronavirus, including a lack of exercise.
- Studies have shown that physical activity increases the numbers of certain immune cells that help to bolster immune activity.
- Clogged up arteries also make it hard for blood carrying immune cells to pass through and repair cells around the body.
- People with a higher BMI are also more likely to suffer diabetes and heart disease – two chronic conditions that drive up coronavirus risk.
- These factors may explain why obese people’s lungs tend to deteriorate faster when the new coronavirus strikes, compared to a healthy person.
The latest NHS guidelines and information about Coronavirus, can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/