Why obesity increases heart damage in COVID-19

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study from a Colombian university, researchers found why obesity increases risk of heart complications in COVID-19.

In COVID-19 patients, obesity is the factor most linked to the development of endothelial dysfunction, a condition in which the blood vessels become unable to contract and relax adequately.

This can increase the risk of events such as heart attacks, thrombosis (blood clotting), and stroke.

Endothelium refers to the thin sheet of cells lining the walls of arteries and veins, as well as the inside of the heart.

Endothelial cells release substances that control vascular relaxation and contraction, and enzymes that regulate blood clotting and immune function.

In the study, the team analyzed data from 109 patients hospitalized owing to acute COVID-19, but not in a critical condition. Their most frequent comorbidity was obesity (62%), followed by high blood pressure (47%) and diabetes (17%).

The results showed that the key factor was BMI (body mass index), followed quite a way behind by blood creatinine level, a marker of kidney function.

BMI (weight divided by height squared) is one of the main parameters used by health professionals to measure overweight and obesity. Individuals with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 and more are considered obese.

Besides FMD and BMI, the researchers assessed muscle health by measuring grip strength with a dynamometer and analyzed blood levels of inflammation markers.

They found obese patients had a 17% higher heart disease risk. These obese patients have more cardiovascular events while they’re hospitalized.

The damage done to endothelium by the virus may also be associated with blood clotting disorders leading to the formation of microthrombi, and the development of intense systemic endothelial dysfunction, both of which would account for progression to severe COVID-19.

If you care about obesity, please read studies about this obesity drug can suppress appetite and reduce food cravings effectively and findings of obesity can worsen liver damage caused by alcohol.

For more information about obesity and your health, please see recent studies about eating rice may help prevent obesity and results showing that this drug may help protect against liver damage, obesity.

The study is published in the journal Obesity. One author of the study is Alessandro Domingues Heubel.

Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.