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Losing weight reduces Covid severity by 60 percent

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Losing weight if you’re obese or seriously overweight reduces your risk of a severe Covid-19 infection by as much as 60 percent.

Shedding the pounds also halves your risk of needing hospital care and you’re 63 percent less likely to have supplemental oxygen.

Obesity is still the single biggest risk factor for a serious Covid infection.  It weakens the immune system, creates chronic inflammation, and raises the risk of heart disease, blood clots and lung problems—and all these symptoms are also common in Covid patients.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic monitored 20,212 obese adults, and 5,053 of those with a body mass index that was greater than 35 had weight-loss surgery.  They were matched against more than 15,000 obese patients who didn’t have surgery.

Although both groups were equally as likely to get a Covid infection, those who had had surgery were far less likely to suffer a serious infection or need hospital care.

With 40 percent of Americans being obese, weight loss and adopting a healthier diet were key strategies in countering Covid hospitalizations, the researchers said.

(Source: JAMA Surgery, 2021; doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2021.6496)

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Article Topics: Cancer, medicine, obesity
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