How does being fatter increase severe COVID-19 risk?
Evidence emerging around the world suggests that people who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of getting more severely ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus.
Scientists are still learning about which specific mechanisms might explain this link, but they say some likely factors are:
FAT ADDS STRAIN
- Obesity leads to fat accumulation in vital organs like the heart, and leads to insulin resistance and high blood pressure. This means obesity often coincides with other health conditions, including diabetes, a weaker heart, and less well-functioning liver and kidneys.
- Excess fat can also affect the respiratory system. In other words, it can make someone breathless and less able to get oxygen into the blood and around the body. It is also likely to have an effect on inflammatory and immune functions. (Photo: Reuters)