Data clearly show the more serious trajectory of COVID-19 disease in people with obesity

August 31, 2020

Data presented at one of the opening sessions at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) held online this year (1-4 September) will show the clear relationship between obesity and the severity of COVID-19 disease. The session is presented by François Pattou, Professor of Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lille, and head of the Department of General and Endocrine Surgery at Lille University Hospital, France.

In his presentation, Prof Pattou will discuss French data from the earlier part of the epidemic (some of it published in the journal Obesity) that rapidly revealed that patients with obesity were facing more serious disease and a higher mortality risk than patients without obesity. Furthermore, he will discuss how areas of France with higher prevalence of obesity appeared to take longer to release their lockdown restrictions (because the virus was still circulating more in those areas), by showing a map comparing the two situations.

At the beginning of April, both general and intensive care admissions for COVID-19 began to rise sharply in Lille University Hospital, and across France and other European countries. An analysis conducted by Pattou and colleagues included 124 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions with COVID-19, and compared them with 306 patients who had been in ICU for other reasons, without COVID-19.

The data showed that among ICU patients with COVID-19, around half had obesity (BMI above 30), with a quarter having severe obesity (BMI of 35 or above). Most of the remaining patients (around 40%) were overweight, with only around 10% of patients in the healthy weight range (BMI 25 or under). Among the non-COVID-19 ICU patients, the story was very different: a quarter had obesity or severe obesity; a further quarter were overweight, and around half fell into the healthy weight range.

A similar trend emerged regarding which ICU patients with COVID-19 had to be put on ventilators. Of the 89 requiring mechanical ventilation, more than half had obesity or severe obesity, while most of most of the other patients were overweight. Patients with a BMI in the healthy range of 25 and under made up less than 10% of patients needing a ventilator. Among the 35 patients in ICU who did not deteriorate to the point of needing mechanical ventilation, a much lower proportion had obesity or serious obesity (less than 25%), while around half fell into the overweight category, and the other quarter the normal weight range.

Looking specifically at the individual BMI groups, almost all patients COVID-19 ICU patients with severe obesity (87%) needed a ventilator, dropping to 75% for 'regular' obesity (BMI 30-35), 60% for patients in the overweight category, and 47% for those in the healthy BMI range.

Professor Pattou says: "Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the increased risk posed by this virus to people living with obesity could not be clearer. Our data show that the chances of increasing to more severe disease increases with BMI, to the point where almost all intensive care COVID-19 patients with severe obesity will end up on a ventilator."

Further analysis by Pattou and colleagues, that has been published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, showed that, among the patients analysed at Lille University Hospital, ICU patients with COVID-19 were almost 3 times more likely to have obesity than ICU patients without COVID-19.

Finally in his presentation, Professor Pattou will discuss an ongoing multicentre trial including more than 1,500 patients taking place at two centres in the USA, 18 in Europe, and one in Israel, to gather more data on the how increasing BMI and having obesity relates to the increased risk of mechanical ventilation ( Identifier: NCT04391738).

European Association for the Study of Obesity

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to