Obesity: a critical risk factor in the COVID-19 pandemic

See Kwok, Safwaan Adam, Jan Hoong Ho, Zohaib Iqbal, Peter Turkington, Salman Razvi, Carel le Roux, Handrean Soran, Akheel Syed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Obesity is an emerging independent risk factor for susceptibility to and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2). Previous viral pandemics have shown that obesity, particularly severe obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m2), is associated with increased risk of hospitalization, critical care admission and fatalities. In this narrative review, we examine emerging evidence of the influence of obesity on COVID‐19, the challenges to clinical management from pulmonary, endocrine and immune dysfunctions in individuals with obesity and identify potential areas for further research. We recommend that people with severe obesity be deemed a vulnerable group for COVID‐19; clinical trials of pharmacotherapeutics, immunotherapies and vaccination should prioritize inclusion of people with obesity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Obesity
Early online date28 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2020


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