Since the beginning of 2020, and probably even before, the COVID-19 virus, which is considered dangerous, has been rampant throughout the world. The pandemic development summarised under the collective term Corona crisis has far-reaching consequences for all life in the world – also in Switzerland. Even if the infection figures and the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 are currently declining, the virus has not gone away. It is still there. And in many countries there is and growing fear that a second high wave of infection can be expected in autumn at the latest.
Evaluate risk groups correctly
In principle, it can be assumed that almost anyone can be infected by the Corona virus. Across age groups, social boundaries and income groups, the virus can affect anyone. Protective measures such as social distancing, wearing mouth and nose masks and maintaining good hand hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of infection, but not eliminate it.
With the statistical collection and evaluation of data on the course of the Corona pandemic and its spread, certain risk groups have been defined whose risk of infection is clearly and measurably above average. Currently known risk groups include
- in principle, all persons aged 65 and over
- People with high blood pressure
- Adults with chronic respiratory diseases
- Diabetics of both levels
- Men and women with diseases and therapies associated with a weakened immune system
- all people with cardiovascular diseases and
- Cancer patients.
Many of these diagnoses also apply to severely overweight people who have a BMI of over 40 and are thus classified as severely obese.
Obesity and corona form a dangerous combination
Interesting and at the same time worrying is the combination of obesity and an infection with the COVID-19 virus. After all, chronic obesity is often associated with risk factors such as high blood pressure, fatigue, diabetes, a weakened immune system, cardiovascular problems and a lifestyle that is accompanied by little exercise in the fresh air.
In this constellation, very overweight people are particularly often found in the risk groups for corona infection. This means that significantly obese adults in particular are at substantially greater risk of infection.
What we recommend to patients with obesity
In the dangerous connection between obesity and the risk of corona infection described above, we recommend that people who are significantly overweight receive accompanying advice and care from a specialist, for example from the obesity surgery doctors in the Swiss1Chirurgie and Centre for Bariatric Surgery (ZfbC) clinics. Here, people are aware of the entire problem of obesity, especially in connection with the COVID19 virus, and can give the decisive tips.
In addition, affected patients are advised to seek treatment at the Swiss1Chirurgie obesity centres before the expected arrival of the second wave of infection. In addition to thorough diagnosis and advice on individual treatment options for morbid obesity, the specialists at Swiss1Chirurgie and ZfbC offer comprehensive advice on preventive options for sufferers with regard to possible COVID-19 disease.
Focus on dietary and lifestyle changes
Given the particular vulnerability of overweight people with a BMI of 40 or more, it is strongly advised that they immediately change their entire diet and lifestyle to a healthier option. What is so easy to put into words here poses great challenges for most of those affected.
Therefore, specialist counselling and care is an option that should definitely be used, not only with regard to the risk from the COVID19 virus. This is because overweight people in particular often have an accumulation of risk factors that favour both infection with the corona virus and a comparatively more problematic course of the disease.
Irrespective of the current corona pandemic, we strongly advise overweight people to seek specialist advice, treatment and care, for example in the Swiss1Chirurgie obesity surgery clinics. Not only does this effectively counteract the risk of a severe course of COVID-19 infection, but it is also a promising first step towards a healthier future overall.
Grade III obesity as a risk factor for a more severe course of COVID-19
is officially on the list as of today: Annex 6 of COVID Regulation 2, adaptation of 14 May 2020, item 7.
Communication from: Eidgenössisches Departement des Innern EDI Bundesamt für Gesundheit BAG Direktionsbereich Öffentliche Gesundheit Sektion Prävention in der Gesundheitsversorgung