OBESITY & COVID-19: THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF LIVING IN A PANDEMIC
Everyday our lives adapt to fit the “new normal”—routines are adjusted, plans are modified, and lifestyles are changed. Living in a pandemic is a reality that millions of people are trying to get used to. For the 40% of Americans who struggle with obesity, COVID-19 has raised unique challenges that put their health at risk.
Comorbidities: Obesity often goes hand in hand with a number of common occurring medical conditions: sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. As researchers have learned, many of these underlying conditions are common in the sickest COVID-19 patients. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published their study on over 5,700 patients around the New York City area. Their research unearthed an unfortunate trend; many hospitalized patients also had an underlying condition: 57% had high blood pressure and just over one third had a form of diabetes. Patients in the study who had diabetes were also more likely to develop kidney issues or be placed on a ventilator while hospitalized.
Race & Ethnicity: Certain racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately impacted by obesity; these same minority groups are also found to be at increased risk of COVID-19.
Metabolic Changes: Elevated leptin levels (the “hunger hormone”) are an identifying symptom of obesity and influence on the body’s metabolism. Professor Barry Popkin of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health claims these metabolic changes tied to excess weight can reduce the immune system’s ability to fight diseases. This reduced function of the immune system influences the outcome of COVID-19.
Patient Care: Individuals with severe obesity who are affected by COVID-19 and require intensive care often encounter challenges when it comes to patient care and management; difficulty in transport and position by nursing staff, need for more bariatric hospital beds, challenging intubations, and difficulty in obtaining imaging diagnosis.
Vaccines: Studies show that obese adult recipients of the flu vaccine are TWICE AS LIKELY to get the flu despite being vaccinated. Vaccines for COVID-19, like the flu shot, may be less effective in the obese population.
Now more than ever, taking care of your health should be a priority. The New York Bariatric Group is here to help you begin the journey to a healthier and more sustainable life!
COME TO NYBG
When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:
- 15 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
- 18,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
- The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
- 24/7 access to online seminars
- 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
- Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
- Since 2000, we boast 20 years of success!
Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today. Together, we’ve got this!