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expert reaction to a study looking at obesity being linked with higher risk for COVID-19 complications

A study, published in Obesity Reviews, looked at possible link between obesity and risk for COVID-19 complications, including speculation about impact of obesity on effectiveness of a future SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.


Prof Duncan Young, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, University of Oxford, said:

“This is a rather unusual style of paper, as it combines a narrative review of obesity in the context of COVID-19 disease, with a meta-analysis of observational data on the association of obesity with the likelihood of a positive test and hospital and ICU admission. The meta-analysis confirms the association between obesity and positive tests and hospitalisation. The two large UK studies of millions of patients based on GP and other records have not been included.

“The discussion of the effects of obesity on vaccine efficacy are not based on the meta-analysis in the paper or any new data, but on a narrative review  of a range of other studies and is simply a hypothesis. The numerous vaccine studies underway will very likely be recording BMI and this is where accurate data on the association between obesity and vaccine efficacy will come from.”


‘Individuals with obesity and COVID-19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships’ by Popkin et al. was published in Obesity Reviews on Wednesday 26th August.

DOI: 10.1111/obr.13128


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