Research to improve people's health


The IDIAPJGol has studied the relationship between obesity and Covid-19 in two new scientific articles

One of the investigations analyzes the characteristics of Covid-19 patients with and without obesity. The other study examines the risk of diagnosis, hospitalization, and death with Covid-19 based on body mass index.


A team of researchers from IDIAPJGol has published two new scientific articles this August that link obesity with Covid-19. The first of them studies the characteristics of Covid-19 patients, with and without obesity, in the United States, United Kingdom and Spain. The second analyzes the risk of diagnosis and severity of the disease in relation to the person's body mass index.

Higher prevalence of obesity in hospitalized patients

For the first article, a total of 627,044 people diagnosed with Covid-19 between January and June 2020 in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States were analyzed, as well as 160,013 people hospitalized for the virus. The study concludes that the prevalence of obesity was higher among hospitalized patients (39.9%) than among the total diagnosed (33.1%).

In both groups, obese patients were more often women. Furthermore, obese people admitted were younger than non-obese patients. In general, Covid-19 obese patients had previous medical conditions and were more likely to have cardiovascular or respiratory problems during hospitalization , as well as requiring intensive care, compared to patients without obesity.

The main conclusion of the research is that obese patients more frequently present severe forms of Covid-19, with higher rates of hospitalization, and need for intensive care.

Overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of events associated with Covid-19

The other recently published study has analyzed data from 2,524,926 people in Catalonia between March and May 2020. After a 67-day follow-up, 57,443 were diagnosed with Covid-19, 10,862 were hospitalized and 2,467 died. The risk of being diagnosed and hospitalized for Covid-19, as well as of dying after the infection, was higher in people with a high body mass index (BMI).

Compared to a BMI of 22, considered healthy, people with a BMI of 25 (overweight) and 31 (obesity) were 10% and 22% more likely, respectively, to be diagnosed with Covid-19. In the case of hospitalization, overweight people were 27% more likely to be directly hospitalized, and 37% more likely to be hospitalized after being diagnosed with Covid-19 in Primary Care. These odds increased to 88% and 101%, respectively, in people with obesity.

Regarding the risk of dying from Covid-19 , a slight increase has been found in people with a BMI less than 19 (underweight) and a more pronounced risk in people with a BMI greater than 40 (very high or morbid obesity).

The above-described probabilities were even higher in young patients.

>> Check the original articles: