Surprisingly, the risk of being overweight was even greater than that linked to obesity. Overweight patients were 40% more likely to die than healthy weight patients, while obese patients were 30% more likely than healthy weight patients.
The results clearly demonstrated an increased risk of serious Covid-19 in anyone with a B.M.I. of 25 or higher, according to study authors, Dr. Mohamed Rami Nakeshbandi, assistant professor of infectious diseases at SUNY Downstate Health Science University, and Rohan Maini, a medical student.
But while obesity increased the risk of death for men, it didn̵
The UK study looked at lifestyle risk factors among 387,109 men and women, 760 of whom had Covid-19. People with the virus who were overweight were about 30 percent more likely to be hospitalized than those of healthy weight; those who were obese were about twice as likely as those of healthy weight.
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The study, published in July in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, also looked at factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity levels, and concluded that moderate exercise reduces the chances of an infected person being hospitalized. .
“Social remote physical activity can be a good intervention,” Mark Hamer, professor of sports and exercise medicine at University College London and author of the paper, said in an email. “It provides immune protection and also helps with weight loss.”
Physical activity, which has been extensively studied, can reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions related to excess weight, such as diabetes and hypertension. But it won’t completely eliminate the risk of compromised immune function and heightened inflammation, Dr. Popkin cautioned.