Update: The impact of obesity on COVID-19 outcomes of hospitalizations and mortality

By Xcenda

Addressing obesity can help scale back COVID-19 deaths – an update

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, scientists, healthcare workers, and public health experts have learned a great deal about the pathophysiology of the coronavirus, as well as the patient populations that are most vulnerable. Understanding how to mitigate risk for these populations can have a tremendous impact on reducing hospitalizations, deaths, and associated healthcare costs.

Obesity is linked with higher risk for several serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, among others. But obesity has also emerged as a major risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection. Since over 40% of the US population has obesity, updating policies to support the treatment and prevention of this disease should be part of a comprehensive response to COVID-19.

Xcenda developed a model to estimate the number of fewer hospitalizations, intensive-care unit admissions, and deaths if the prevalence of obesity were reduced at the start of the pandemic. The recently updated results are sobering: if the prevalence of obesity were reduced by 25% at the start of the pandemic, the US would have had 119,000 fewer hospitalizations, almost 45,000 ICU admissions, and 65,000 fewer deaths. The research underscores the need for policymakers to ensure all patients have access to anti-obesity services and treatments to potentially reduce the risk of adverse outcomes from pandemics in the future.

Read the update below and original issue brief can be found here. 

coronavirus

Updated issue brief

The impact of obesity on COVID-19 outcomes of hospitalizations and mortality