We know that anyone can get infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the more we learn about this new disease, the better we can continue to care for our patients. Additionally, it has become increasingly clear that some people are more vulnerable to severe illness than others, including those with obesity.
Since this pandemic is not going anywhere anytime soon, it is important to understand as much as we can.
Obesity and COVID-19
By now you might have already heard that older adults and people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease are more vulnerable to developing a severe case fo COVID-19. However, even if you feel healthy, being overweight can increase your risk as well.
Obesity is actually the number one risk factor for developing a severe case of COVID-19 in people under the age of 55. To make matters worse, if you do develop a severe case of COVID-19 it is much harder to recover from the disease. Whatever the reason for a person’s increased risk, it is vital that you take steps to improve your health.
Everyone should be physically distancing, wearing cloth masks and practicing proper hand hygiene to better protect yourself.
Obesity is also linked to sleep apnea
To make matters worse, obesity is also the leading risk factor for sleep apnea too. Obesity is a leading cause and side effect of sleep apnea. With increased weight comes an increased risk of sleep apnea, while losing weight can help cure sleep apnea.
When people are severely overweight, they can fail to breathe rapidly enough or deep enough. This then results in low blood oxygen levels and high blood carbon dioxide levels. And when this happens, many people who are obese stop breathing altogether for short periods of time during sleep. In return, this places an extreme strain on the heart, which can lead to symptoms of heart failure.
Contact our office to learn more about obesity and sleep apnea, as well as treatment options to help protect you in the long run.