In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, HALF of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had obesity.1*
COVID-19 and obesity are a dangerous combination.
The higher a patient’s BMI, the greater the risk for hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, and death due to COVID-19. Particularly among adults less than 65 years old, obesity was a risk factor for hospitalization and death.1-3
In a Novo Nordisk–funded US-based model developed by Xcenda®, data collected compared the current scenario (pandemic with current obesity prevalence) and 3 new hypothetical scenarios (pandemic with relative reductions in obesity prevalence), with the goal of determining how lowering the prevalence of obesity can reduce severe COVID-19 outcomes. Data from available literature on the correlation of obesity status (using BMI) and COVID-19 outcomes was incorporated in the model. The model inputs are from a literature review that included 11 systematic reviews with or without meta-analyses and 13 individual studies on the impact of obesity in COVID-19 patients on key outcomes of interest—hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.4
According to this model, during the first 6 months of the pandemic, an initial 25% reduction in the prevalence of obesity could have helped prevent4:
What’s more, Black and Hispanic Americans are being hit harder—as they are being hospitalized due to COVID-19 at a nearly 3x greater rate than White Americans.5†
*Based on a CDC study of nearly 150,000 hospitalized adults diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and December of 2020 at 238 US hospitals.
†Preliminary cumulative rates as of November 07, 2020.
Patients with obesity are vulnerable to developing severe illness from COVID-191,2
Explore the COVID-19 materials below to learn how, even in the midst of the pandemic, patients with obesity can benefit from a comprehensive long-term weight-management plan.
Obesity and COVID-19 Factsheet
This fact sheet presents emerging data regarding the link between COVID-19 and obesity, and provides resources for you and your patients to stay up to date on the latest information.
The importance of weight management through the COVID-19 pandemic
In this video, Dr. Deborah Bade Horn examines the relationship between obesity and COVID-19, and highlights the critical value of HCP guidance when it comes to long-term weight management.
COVID-19 and Obesity: Addressing the Epidemic of Obesity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr. Rekha Kumar, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine and attending endocrinologist at Weill Cornell Medical College, discusses how obesity has negatively affected COVID-19–associated hospitalization rates and offers insights into the suboptimal vaccine response that is observed in patients with obesity. Dr. Kumar offers practical information for improving HCP-led obesity management with lifestyle modification, pharmacotherapy, and telehealth.
Test your knowledge of the relationship between weight, COVID-19, and other respiratory infections through a series of informative quiz cards.
Weight: A matter of health
This infographic, which can be shared with patients, explains the impact of obesity on COVID-19 and provides an overview of available obesity treatment options.
Treating obesity requires a long-term weight-management plan
Metabolic adaptation makes weight loss difficult
1. Kompaniyets L, Goodman AB, Belay B, et al. Body mass index and risk for COVID-19–related hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, and death - United States, March-December 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(10):355-361.
2. Popkin BM, Du S, Green WD, et al. Individuals with obesity and COVID-19: a global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships. Obes Rev. 2020;21(11):e13128.
3. Hendren NS, de Lemos JA, Ayers C, et al. Association of body mass index and age with morbidity and mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19: results from the American Heart Association COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry. Circulation. 2021;143(2):135-144.
4. Xcenda. The impact of obesity on COVID-19 outcomes of hospitalizations and mortality. Accessed April 12, 2021. https://www.xcenda.com/-/media/assets/xcenda/english/content-assets/white-papers-issue-briefs-studies-pdf/xcenda-covid-and-obesity-jan-2021-xd.pdf?la=en&hash=535A4A9E6B1A93476AAF0EAE25F693A4BE8520A7
5. Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19–associated hospitalizations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary cumulative rates as of Nov 07, 2020. Accessed March 13, 2021. https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/covidnet/covid19_3.html
6. COVID-19: people with certain medical conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html
7. Richardson S, Hirsch JS, Narasimhan M, et al. Presenting characteristics, comorbidities, and outcomes among 5700 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area [published correction appears in JAMA. 2020;323(20):2098]. JAMA. 2020;323(20):2052-2059.