The COVID-19 pandemic has invariably been more lethal for senior citizens. More than 80% of the deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in older age groups across the globe.

However,there’s another high-risk group that’s more likely to get critically ill from COVID-19; this includes those who are overweight. Individuals from this group are more likely to get hospitalized, need intensive care, or even a ventilator after contracting the virus.

This is particularly alarming for the US, where around 42% of the population is obese. Its high prevalence poses a great challenge for the country.

Even though research on the subject is still ongoing, here are some likely reasons that explain why obesity is a risk factor for COVID-19:

Lower Lung Capacity

The more weight your body carries, the harder it is for your lungs to function at full capacity. They have to struggle to get oxygen into your blood and around the body, significantly impacting the blood flow to your heart.And coronavirus is known to cause lung damage, often leading to pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses.

Due to greater pressure on their lungs, obese people are more likely to need oxygen support while in an intensive care unit.

Higher Number of Fatty Tissues

It has been discovered that an enzyme, ACE2, found in cells, acts as a receptor for the coronavirus to enter the body. This enzyme is naturally found in abundance in fatty tissues, putting obese people at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

An illustration of a human cell.

Higher Levels of Insulin Circulation

Obese people also have higher levels of insulin circulating in their bodies. The increased levels of insulin engender the presence of ACE 2 receptors, adding to their COVID-19 vulnerabilities.

When they catch the virus, the viral load is far higher than in their age-matched counterparts.

Get Professional Help to Fight Off Obesity

Even though COVID-19 vaccines have become widely available, it might take some time for countries to vaccinate their entire populations. Until then, if you need to consult a weight loss specialist in Sacramento, book an appointment with Natomas Family Practice. We provide non-invasive body sculpting treatment for people looking to get in shape.

We also have senior care specialists, pediatric specialists, women’s healthcare specialists, and immunizations specialists.

Call us at 916-928-0856 to learn more.