COVID-19 & obesity: Beyond BMI

Academic Article


  • The pandemic of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has triggered an international crisis resulting in excess morbidity and mortality with adverse societal, economic, and geopolitical consequences. Like other disease states, there are patient characteristics that impact clinical risk and determine the spectrum of severity. Obesity, or adiposity-based chronic disease, has emerged as an important risk factor for morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19. It is imperative to further stratify risk in patients with obesity to determine optimal mitigation and perhaps therapeutic preparedness strategies. We suspect that insulin resistance is an important pathophysiologic cause of poor outcomes in patients with obesity and COVID-19 independent of body mass index. This explains the association of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension (HTN), and cardiovascular disease with poor outcomes since insulin resistance is the main driver of both dysglycemia-based chronic disease and cardiometabolic-based chronic disease towards end-stage disease manifestations. Staging the severity of adiposity-related disease in a "complication-centric"manner (HTN, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, T2DM, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.) among different ethnic groups in patients with COVID-19 should help predict the adverse risk of adiposity on patient health in a pragmatic and actionable manner during this pandemic.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Nadolsky KZ; Hurley DL; Garvey WT
  • Start Page

  • 923
  • End Page

  • 925
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 8