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Obesity is tied to greater risk of COVID-19
Published on: 2020-09-11
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obesity 01In the early days of the pandemic, doctors noticed something about the people severely ill from COVID-19: Many were obese.

The link became more apparent as coronavirus swept across the globe and data mounted, and researchers are still trying to figure out why.

Excess weight increases the chances of developing a number of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. And those are among the conditions that can make COVID-19 patients more likely to get very sick.

obesity 02But there’s some evidence that obesity itself can increase the likelihood of serious complications from a coronavirus infection. One study of more than 5,200 infected people, including 35% who were obese, found that the chances of hospitalization rose for people with higher BMIs, even when taking into account other conditions that could put them at risk.

Scientists are still studying the factors that might be at play — the way obesity affects the immune system may be one — but say it’s another example of the pandemic illuminating existing public health challenges.

cell 01An electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient

Obesity may be one reason some countries or communities have been hit hard by the virus, researchers say. In the United States, the obesity rate among adults has climbed for decades and is now at 42%. The rate is even higher among Black and Hispanic Americans.

Researchers say multiple factors likely make it harder for people who are obese to fight a coronavirus infection, which can damage the lungs. Carrying around a lot of extra weight strains the body, and that excess fat could limit the lungs’ ability to expand and breathe.

Another issue is chronic inflammation, which often comes with obesity. Inflammation is a natural way our bodies fight harmful intruders like viruses. But long-lasting inflammation isn’t healthy and could undermine your body’s defences when a real threat arises.

肥胖导致新冠死亡风险上升40%

与肥胖有关的炎症反应和免疫反应可能有助于解释为什么新冠肺炎患者有可能会出现更严重的后果。

随着新冠病毒的传播在全球范围内造成超过80万人死亡,有一点越来越明显,那就是合并症会使患者面临更大的风险。

在欧洲和国际肥胖大会上介绍成果时,研究人员说,肥胖患者脂肪组织累积所引起的炎症可能对于患者感染新冠病毒后出现的反应起到了一定作用。肥胖还与其他疾病如二型糖尿病以及心血管疾病有关。

报道称,他们还指出,人体调节肾素-血管紧张素-醛固酮系统的血压也可能与产生更严重的结果有关。该系统包括了新冠病毒所结合的酶。

肥胖者体内的肾素-血管紧张素-醛固酮系统可能过度活跃。

马斯特里赫特大学医疗中心的海斯·戈森斯说:“我们认为,脂肪量的增加可能会导致肾素-血管紧张素-醛固酮系统活动的增加以及肥胖导致的炎症,从而在肥胖以及新冠病毒易感性增加和病情更严重之间建立起重要联系。”

他说,这也可能在一定程度上导致老年新冠肺炎患者病情严重。

一些研究已经发现,肥胖与新冠病毒引发重症的风险增加之间存在关联。

今年7月,英国发起了一项对抗肥胖的运动,因为英格兰公共卫生局的一份报告发现,肥胖导致新冠病毒死亡风险上升40%。

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