COVID-19 has been dominating the news and dictating our lives due to the potential life threat it carries with it. COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are yet to come up with a medicine to counter the spread of this virus. According to clinical information available, individuals with complicated medical conditions and elderly people fall under the bracket of ‘high risk’ of contracting COVID-19.
It comes as a shocker to know that being overweight with other medical conditions could attract COVID -19 !!
India is trailing behind the USA and China in terms of obesity in the world. Individuals suffering from obesity with other medical conditions pose a higher risk of contracting the new coronavirus, and the United States has a rather larger group of such vulnerable individuals. For months, scientists have been studying various cases to understand why COVID-19 manifests differently in the world. Repeatedly “Age of the patient” is emerging as one of the most important determinants.
This virus also attacks young people, especially obese young people and they must be very cautious. Obesity is a complex health condition that affects almost all age groups, independent of the socioeconomic factors. More number of obesity cases are found in industrialized and developing countries.
Obesity is higher in women as compared to men, considering the higher percentage of body fat they possess. Obesity brings about other health complications (comorbidity) such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart stroke, sleep apnea, and some cancers. The effect obesity has on an individual’s health ranges from chronic illnesses to premature death and has long-lasting ill-effects on the quality of life.
In a series of studies, NYU researchers found that certain risk factors such as age, obesity, and chronic diseases, can increase the risk of COVID-19. In another study by the “NYU Langone Health researchers” found that patients under the age of 60 have a higher risk of being hospitalized if they were overweight. Researchers have found that patients under the age of 60 who are considered obese by BMI standards are hospitalized nearly twice as often due to COVID-19.
This article, from Dr Venu Gopal Pareek, takes into account that obesity is the most significant “chronic” factor compared to age for COVID 19 disease.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a contagious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus was not known before the pandemic began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) causes respiratory infections, and patients experience mild to severe symptoms, including dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually surface upto 14 days after exposure to COVID-19.
Why COVID-19 a high-risk Comorbidity?
Severe obesity increases the risk of serious respiratory problems called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This is a significant symptom of COVID-19 and can affect the ability of doctors to support the respiratory system in critically ill patients. People with severe obesity can have several serious chronic diseases and underlying conditions that can increase the risk of COVID-19 disease.
Why are Obesity people at high risk of contracting COVID 19?
Being overweight means that body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more, which increases the risk of comorbidity conditions which will attract the risk of COVID-19.
People with obesity have different chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular conditions. Being obese can make a recovery from COVID-19 difficult.
The below listed cardiovascular conditions can increase the risk of COVID-19:
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
Precautions to be taken:
- Take your medication exactly as prescribed for each significant health condition.
- Exercise daily including performing Yoga
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Taking vitamin supplements, as prescribed by your treating physician
Obese people Got Infected To COVID 19- What Should they Do?
COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms and complications in some people who are overweight, older people, and other chronic conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak as an international public health emergency. There are simple and effective precautions that we can take to reduce the risk of coronavirus or spreading the virus to others.
- If you are overweight and experience obvious symptoms such as dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath, continue taking medication and contact your doctor or local health hospital.
- Learn what you can do to protect yourself, including staying at home, and be as far away from others as possible.
- Continue your treatment and do not change your treatment plan without talking to a doctor.
- Have at least two weeks of medications to reduce trips to the pharmacy.
- Talk to a doctor if the vaccination is up to date. People over 65 years and people with chronic diseases, e.g. people with immunocompromised or severe liver disease, are advised to get flu shots of pneumococcal disease.
- Contact a doctor if you are worried about your underlying medical condition.
- The emergency unit has an emergency plan to prevent you from COVID-19 when you need to take care of your primary condition. Do not delay emergency assistance for your primary health because of COVID-19.
Obesity is quite apparent in so many individuals we come across daily. It does appear pretty simple, yet has long-lasting ramifications on health. If we do not act now and bring down the obesity levels, then one has to gear up for the other health conditions, obesity is going to bring forth. One contemporary example is COVID-19 virus. We do not want to be used as a host for this virus to grow. Let us vow to bring down our body weight, thereby saving the self and our family members from the deadly grip of this virus.
If exercising and other ways do not help you in bringing the weight down, you might want to consider surgery. “Bariatric surgery” is an excellent surgical option to reduce weight. To know more about this surgery, please schedule an appointment with Dr Venu Gopal Pareek contact at +91 91-777-77715.