Medical professionals have long known that obesity is a risk factor for poor clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Consequently, a Cleveland Clinic study 1 sought to find out the relationship between bariatric surgery and severe COVID-19 cases. Their research indicates that prior bariatric surgery, with subsequent weight loss, is significantly related to lower rates of hospital and ICU admissions for SARS-CoV-2.
In this matched cohort study of 363 patients with COVID-19 (33 patients who underwent bariatric surgery and 330 matched controls with obesity), bariatric surgery was significantly associated with near 3 times lower odds of hospital admission. These results, published in the journal of Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, is encouraging for patients with obesity who are considering bariatric surgery.
One obstacle that those struggling with obesity have faced during the pandemic is the inability to access bariatric surgery or any elective surgeries for the past several months. Hospitals hit with surges of COVID-19 across the US have canceled elective surgeries, causing backlogs of patients.
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1 Auger, Caroline. “Cleveland Clinic Research Shows Bariatric Surgery May Reduce Severity of COVID-19 in Patients with Obesity.” Cleveland Clinic Newsroom, Cleveland Clinic Newsroom, 24 Nov. 2020, newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2020/11/24/cleveland-clinic-research-shows-bariatric-surgery-may-reduce-severity-of-covid-19-in-patients-with-obesity/.