The danger of obesity: Covid-19 risk and heart disease

Its no surprise that obesity is correlated with higher heart failure, which can lead to heart attacks and even death. What is noteworthy is that obesity is also shown to increase the mortality rate of people with Covid-19.

A study found that obese people with COVID-19 were 113% more likely to require hospitalization than healthy people and 48% more likely to die. The reason being is that obesity lowers immunity, increases chronic inflammation, and has blood that is prone to clotting, all of which worsen the effects of Covid-19. This is even more worrisome when we take into account that 40% of adults in the US are obese.

Obesity and Heart Disease

Obese individuals require more blood to supply oxygen through the body and this in turn increases their blood pressure. Essentially, it is more work for the heart to supply blood to a bigger body mass.

Another factor that disfavors obese individuals is high cholesterol. Not only is obesity a pretty sure bet with high bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels, but it also reduces good cholesterol (HDL). HDL’s are important because they help fight off the bad cholesterol levels and improve our overall risk of heart disease.

Last but not least, obesity can lead to diabetes and diabetes can lead to heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, 68% of people 65 or older with diabetes also have heart disease. In fact, diabetics are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease because the high blood glucose levels often damage the blood vessels for the heart.

One way to measure if you are at risk is to know your belly fat. Excess belly fat, even if you are not overweight can increase your chances of developing heart disease. If your waist is more than 40 inches for a man and 35 inches for a woman, you have excess belly fat and should consider getting on a healthier diet and exercise.

How to reduce risk of Heart Disease and/or Covid-19?

Good news, it’s simple: Lose weight. We must note that there are other factors contributing to heart disease and bad health in general including smoking and genetic propensity. However, getting on a healthy diet and exercising four times a week is sure to reduce your risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. These are also all risk factors for Covid-19. So next time you’re biting into your Snickers bar, think twice about what it can be doing to your body.