Research Links Bariatric Surgery to Protection Against Severe COVID-19
Researchers have shown that patients who underwent bariatric surgery had less severe cases of COVID-19 than their non-surgery counterparts. Given that obesity is a significant risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection, weight loss surgery can effectively protect against life-threatening cases of the novel virus.
Because of improvements in BMI, breathing and lung mechanics, and other comorbidities like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, and kidney function, bariatric surgeries have proven to play a role in mitigating COVID-19 outcomes.
Although the mean BMI was still in the obese range when testing positive, bariatric surgery patients had nearly half the risk of hospitalization as those in the control group, as reported in JAMA Surgery. Weight loss surgery participants also saw a 63% lower risk of needing supplemental oxygen. They had a 60% lower risk of having a severe case of COVID-19.
Bariatric Surgeries as Medically Necessary
The study’s authors added that many were denied the ability to undergo metabolic surgery during the pandemic because it is an elective surgery. This was the case despite that even beyond COVID-19, the health advantages of bariatric surgery are clear. The surgical group saw a 53% lower 10-year cumulative incidence of death from all other causes.
These researchers convincingly argue that their findings support the argument for weight loss surgery being considered medically necessary.
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