Substantial Weight Loss May Cut the Risk of COVID-19 Complications

Recent research from the Cleveland Clinic shows that among patients with obesity, prior weight loss achieved with bariatric surgery was associated with a 60% lower risk of developing severe complications caused by COVID-19 infection.Substantial Weight Loss May Cut the Risk of COVID-19 Complications

For the study, researchers included 20,212 adult patients with obesity. A group of 5,053 patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 and over who had weight-loss surgery between 2004 and 2017 were carefully matched 1:3 to non-surgical patients, resulting in 15,159 control patients. Compared to the patients in the non-surgical group, patients who experienced bariatric surgery lost 19% more body weight prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Cleveland.

Senior author, Steven Nissen, M.D., Chief Academic Officer of the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic, says: “This study suggests that an emphasis on weight loss as a public health strategy can improve outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks or related infectious diseases. That is a very important finding considering that 40% of Americans have obesity.”

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