A recent analysis of hospital network data found that nearly half of patients being treated for the coronavirus were obese.
The COVID-NET report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that of the patients who’d contracted coronavirus, 9 out of 10 of them had an underlying health condition. Of those patients, 48.3% were obese.
The report looked at 1,482 patients in 99 counties across the country. The data was collected between March 1 and March 31.
Obesity may not be an independent risk factor for many patients, but when it occurs in conjunction with an underlying medical condition it can aggravate the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to SF Gate. (RELATED: REPORT: Coronavirus Came From Wuhan Laboratory, Part Of China Trying To ‘Compete’ With America)
Other underlying medical conditions included hypertension, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Obesity was the most common underlying condition for patients between the age of 18 to 49. In the Ochsner Health system which operated in Louisiana and Mississippi, 60% of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus were obese. This doubles the risk of the patient needing a ventilator, the New York Times reported.
Obesity is defined by the body mass index (BMI), which is based on a formula that divides a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of one’s height in meters. Nearly 42% of American adults are obese.