We know that anyone can get infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the more we learn about this new disease, the better we can continue to care for our patients. Additionally, it has become increasingly clear that some people are more vulnerable to severe illness than others, including those with obesity.
These unprecedented times are bringing up a lot of health worries and scares. It is important that everyone remain healthy during the pandemic, but how do you know when your risk for severe outcomes is higher? It can be hard, but as time goes on we are learning more and more about this disease.
While anyone can get infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, there are some individuals who are at a greater risk for severe outcomes if they are diagnosed with this disease. It has become increasingly clear that some people are more vulnerable to severe illness than others, including those with obesity.
What is the link between obesity and COVID-19?
We know that older adults and people with underlying health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease are more vulnerable to developing a severe case fo COVID-19. However, people with obesity or who are overweight are at an increased risk tool. Obesity is actually the number one risk factor for developing a severe case of COVID-19 in people under the age of 55.
To make matters worse, if you do develop a severe case of COVID-19 it is much harder to recover from the disease. Whatever the reason for a person’s increased risk, it is vital that you take steps to improve your health. Everyone should be physically distancing, wearing cloth masks and practicing proper hand hygiene to better protect yourself.
How is obesity linked to sleep apnea?
To make matters worse, obesity is also the leading risk factor for sleep apnea too. Obesity is a leading cause and side effect of sleep apnea. With increased weight comes an increased risk of sleep apnea, while losing weight can help cure sleep apnea.
When people are severely overweight, they can fail to breathe rapidly enough or deep enough. This then results in low blood oxygen levels and high blood carbon dioxide levels. And when this happens, many people who are obese stop breathing altogether for short periods of time during sleep. In return, this places an extreme strain on the heart, which can lead to symptoms of heart failure.
Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about the link between obesity, severity of COVID-19 and sleep apnea.