OREANDA-NEWS. British scientists have researched the relationship between body mass index and the nature of the course of the coronavirus, and concluded that being overweight contributes to the development of a severe form of the disease. The results of the study were published in the scientific journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Experts studied the data of almost seven million Britons in whom COVID-19 was detected during the first wave, from January to April 2020, and found that people with a body mass index above 23 had a higher risk of severe coronavirus and death. Moreover, each subsequent unit of the index increased the likelihood of hospitalization by five percent, and the risk of treatment in intensive care by ten percent. Thus, even a slight excess weight, regardless of whether a person has diabetes, can lead to complications.

Scientists also found that the impact of excess weight on the severity of COVID-19 is more characteristic of young patients aged 20 to 39 years. The risk of hospitalization for coronavirus in this age group increases by nine percent with each BMI unit. At 40-59 years old - by eight percent, 60-79 - by four percent, over 80 - by one percent.

After 80 years of age, such parameter as weight has little or no effect on the likelihood of developing severe COVID-19, according to study leader Dr. Carmen Piernas of the University of Oxford.

It is noted that a reduced body weight also adversely affects the course of the coronavirus. Experts have advised, in order to prevent complications from COVID-19, to get rid of excess weight, but not to overdo it.