Is Obesity a Risk Factor for Coronavirus?

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The family of 24-year-old Silvia Deyanira Melendez, who passed away ailing from the novel coronavirus, is now going to therapy to come to terms with the death of their family member. The 24-year-old passed away on the 28th of March leaving behind both parents and two brothers.

Silvia Deyanira Melendez had a few health conditions linked to her weight, she weighed over 300 pounds and scored a 60 on the body mass index which is twice the BMI thought to be obese. As a result she is thought to have developed Type 2 diabetes including a heart condition and severe hypertension. Two years prior she ended up getting heart surgery because of these conditions.

Some health conditions can aggravate the chances of risk associated with COVID-19, they may end up prodding the patient with serious illness and even death. These are now found out to include health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension besides age. Being over 65 years of age also puts one at a larger risk of the illness.

Although obesity is not understood enough and there’s not much known about it, still, however, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention groups deem it as another risk factor for worsening the condition of a coronavirus patient.

Between periods 1999-200 and 2017-2018 CDC data shows that adults that were obese increased in percentage by 30% – 42%, 9 percent were found to have severe obesity.

The United States has had another epidemic happening before Covid-19 plagued the world, that epidemic was that of obesity says Dr. Robert Fildes, a pediatric kidney physician.

Obesity was recently highlighted by editors of the medical journal Obesity.  Only last month they were seen to express concerns about obesity being an added problem for the pandemic, they emphasized to health care professionals that they take this very seriously and commit to treating obesity besides other concerns.

In contrast to previous beliefs, several studies are growing in numbers that provide data confirming the link between obesity and coronavirus deaths. It is found through studies that the dangerous weight on people specifically in the BMI range of 40-plus will likely require hospitalization if they contract the deadly coronavirus, they are also most likely to end up in intensive care units.

Besides the concern that such people will require intense hospitalization, physicians are also deterred in their ability to treat them with the use of ventilators, explain doctors.

A study by French researchers in the journal Obesity confirmed a very large number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units who were obese. This means the disease can prove more lethal and severe as BMI increases.

Obesity offers several problems for the patient such as making assisted ventilation difficult but the issue doesn’t end there, being overweight obstructs the patients breathing and reduces natural ventilation, explains Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a Kentucky physician, and founder of the patient advocacy group Health Watch USA.

This makes it even difficult for patients when they contract Covid-19 because the rate of oxygen intake is limited, so patients don’t have enough oxygen when they are suffering from the illness.

Marcos Melendez revealed his daughter was seemingly improving until the virus started damaging her lungs, and eventually her heart. Dr. Jeanette Brown, a Health pulmonologist from the University of Utah, who was responsible for the treatment of the young woman, confirmed her weight became an obstacle for her treatment. The doctor explained the safest way to attach patients to ventilators is by placing them on their stomachs but that was not possible for her patient as it made it difficult for her to breathe, due to her weight acting against her and obstructing her airway.

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