COVID-19 risk is higher among people with obesity from distinct ethnic groups

In the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, researchers from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) identified distinct risk factors for people with obesity belonging to particular ethnic groups.

According to researchers at the University of Leicester, people with obesity from black and minority ethnic communities (BME) are double more likely of becoming ill with the recent coronavirus strain, compared to white Europeans.

The findings are another drop in a massive pool of evidence pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating its dangerous health effects on people of all age groups, ethnicities, physical wellness, and socioeconomic statuses.

Researchers turned to the UK Biobank, a database comprised of health records of more than half a million people from 2006 through 2010. In the data, researchers were able to assess any correlation between body mass index (BMI) and the risk of COVID-19 contagion, especially by ethnic group.

“Although limited by non-random testing for COVID-19 within the UK, this data suggests that the association between BMI and the risk of COVID-19 may vary by ethnicity and acts as an important effect modifier for the increased risk of COVID-19 in BME populations,” researchers stated in the findings.

“These results suggest that the combination of obesity and BME status may place individuals at particularly high-risk of contracting COVID-19, which is consistent with findings for associations of BMI and ethnicity with cardiometabolic dysfunction.”

“There’s still so much we need to understand about the condition, but our latest findings suggest the association between BMI and the risk of COVID-19 may vary by ethnicity.”

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto
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