20. April 2020
A joint statement by the
Swiss Society for Endocrinology and Diabetology (SGED-SSED)
Swiss Association for the Study of Metabolism and Obesity (ASEMO)
Swiss Society for the Study of Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (SMOB)
- Based on early data from Asia, patients at high risk of developing severe respiratory complications from CoV-2-SARS infection causing COVID-19 disease include individuals with associated comorbidities (hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disorders, diabetes, disorders and therapies associated with immunosuppression, cancer), and advanced age (for current synopsis see also: Federal Office of Public Health publication RS 818.101.24, supplement 6, pp. 31-33).
- Obesity has initially not been identified as an independent risk factor for COVID-19 disease.
- There is no evidence that the Sars-Cov-2 virus infects more obese patients than individuals with a weight considered to be within the normal range.
- Recent evidence now suggests that patients with severe obesity (BMI ≥35 kg/m2) may be more vulnerable to the effects of CoV-2-SARS infection, and that they are at higher risk of serious complications, including the risk of requiring invasive mechanical ventilation in the event of respiratory failure (1-3).
- Based on these data (1-3), the SGED, ASEMO and SMOB suggest that severe obesity (BMI ≥35 kg/m2; Grade 2 and BMI ≥40 kg/m2; Grade 3) be considered an independent risk factor affecting the outcomes of COVID-19 disease.
- Individuals with severe obesity should be carefully evaluated for the presence of other risk factors and, in the case of suspected CoV-2-SARS infection, priority screening is recommended.
- Patients with severe obesity should be counseled about protective measures to minimize the risk of contracting CoV-2-SARS infection.
- Simonnet A, Chetboun M, Poissy J, Raverdy V, Noulette J, Duhamel A, et al. High prevalence of obesity in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. Obesity. 2020 Apr 9. doi: 10.1002/oby.22831. [Epub ahead of print]
- Petrilli CM, Jones SA, Yang J, Rajagopalan H, O'Donnell LF, Chernyak Y, et al. Factors associated with hospitalization and critical illness among 4,103 patients with Covid-19 disease in New York City. 2020. BMJ. medRxiv preprint doi: doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.08.20057794
- Lighter J, Phillips M, Hochman S, Sterling S, Johnson D, Francois F, et al. Obesity in patients younger than 60 years is a risk factor for Covid-19 hospital admission. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 9. pii: ciaa415. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa415. [Epub ahead of print]