We have very little data thus far relating body mass index and survival of COVID-19 in any population.
I ran across a small study out of Wuhan, China. Researchers compared 16 heart patients admitted to the ICU with 96 admitted elsewhere in the hospital. Of the non-survivors, nearly all had BMI over 25. Of the survivors, only one in five had BMI over 25.
Conclusion: COVID-19 patients combined with cardiovascular disease are associated with a higher risk of mortality. Critical patients are characterized with lower lymphocyte counts. Higher BMI are more often seen in critical patients and non-survivor. ACE inhibitor/Angiotensin receptor blocker drug use does not affect the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 combined with cardiovascular disease. Aggravating causes of death include fulminant inflammation, lactic acid accumulation and thrombotic events.
Remember, in non-Asians, BMI between 25 and 30 is simply overweight. BMI over 30 qualifies as obesity in most cases. In the U.S., about a third of adults are overweight, and a third are obese.
Adverse effects of obesity occurs at lower BMIs in Chinese and other populations. So obesity in Chinese adults is a BMI over 28. The obesity rate among both men and women in China is 14%.
Steve Parker, M.D.