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Overweight and obese people have up to 86% higher risk of catching Covid-19, study finds

People with excess body mass index (BMI) are more at risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19 finds a new study.

The researchers, from the Chaim Sheba Medical Centre in Israel, found that the odds of testing positive were 22 percent higher in patients who were overweight or obese compared to those with a normal BMI.

People with Class I obesity were linked to a 27 percent higher risk of testing positive, this increased to 38 percent for class II obesity and it was 86 percent higher risk in class III or morbid obesity.

Obesity-related factors, including changes to the innate and adaptive immune systems brought on by excess weight, are believed to be associated with an increased risk of contracting various viral diseases.

In total 26,030 patients were tested across a nine month study period in 2020 and 1,178 positive Covid-19 results were recorded.

Further, the researchers found that people with diabetes were associated with a 30 percent higher likelihood of testing positive, while the risk of testing positive was almost six times greater in patients with hypertension.

The findings were presented at the 2021 European Congress on Obesity on May 13.