Obesity and COVID-19-infection
Pálfi Anita, Szekeres Zsolt, Sándor Barbara, Szabados Eszter
Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Általános Orvostudományi Kar, I. sz. Belgyógyászati Klinika, Kardiológiai Prevenciós és Rehabilitációs Tanszék, Pécs
Obesity, that has reached an epidemic scale by now in most developed countries, significantly increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. It is known that obesity is associated with several diseases and metabolic abnormalities – such as hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular diseases and cancer – and may predispose to various respiratory, endocrine and immune disorders. SARS-CoV-2 infection can range from asymptomatic or mild respiratory disease to severe, life-threatening pneumonia. It has been observed that COVID-19 infection is more often associated with poor prognosis in obese individuals. Respiratory failure was more common, mechanical ventilation was required at a higher rate, and mortality increased significantly in obesity. After examining the cause of this phenomenon, several studies have suggested that the overexpression of the RAAS system and the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in the obese, that is required for SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter the cell, may be an important pathogenic factor. Furthermore, the endothelial dysfunction, the hypercoagulability and the chronic low-grade inflammation associated with obesity may also contribute to a more severe prognosis of COVID-19 infection. In our article, we provide a brief overview of studies on the association between COVID-19 infection and obesity.