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A new study has claimed that obesity increases the risk of dying from Covid-19 by almost 50 percent. The study, conducted by experts from the University of North Carolina, Saudi Health Council and World Bank, also found that the risk of Covid-19 increases by 74 percent among the obese.

The study, published on August 28 by the World Economic Forum, evaluated 75 other research papers, 20 of which specifically dealt with the relationship between Covid-19 and obesity. Pooled analysis from the study showed individuals with obesity had 74 percent higher chance of ending up in the intensive care unit when hospitalised.

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There is also a 48 percent higher risk of dying among this group. The study raises concern over the therapies that can work against Covid-19 among them. “Individuals with obesity are linked with large significant increases in morbidity and mortality from Covid-19... A major concern is that vaccines will be less effective for individuals with obesity,” the study says.

Titled Individuals with Obesity and Covid-19: A Global Perspective on the Epidemiology and Biological Relationship, the argues that being obese is associated with numerous underlying risk factors for Covid-19, including hypertension, dyslipidaemia, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney or liver disease. “Being an individual with obesity has modulatory effects on key immune cell populations critical in the response to SARS-CoV?2,” it the report says.

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The study based its premises on the 2009 influenza pandemic caused by H1N1 virus which identified obesity as a risk factor for both infection and death.