FORT WAYNE, Ind. - April 30, 2020 - PRLog -- Losing as little as ten pounds may make the difference between life and death if exposed to COVID-19. That's the assertion of Greg Steinke, MD, MPH, a hospitalist in Chattanooga, Tennessee who has been caring for COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Steinke cites data suggesting that obesity is among the most potent risk factors for severe COVID-19 infection. Specifically, having a BMI of over 35 increases one's risk 7-fold of having severe, often fatal, ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome). To give you a better idea of those numbers, a 5' 2" woman who weighs 192 pounds has a BMI of 35. Similarly, a 5' 10" man who weighs in at 244 pounds registers a 35 BMI.
On a recently released video, Dr. Steinke shared an amazing story that illustrated the power of these connections. Steinke's account centered on one of his recent ICU patients. He explained how this individual, "about a month before he got the [COVID-19] infection… had really started working on weight loss." During that four-week stint the patient lost about ten pounds. When he became infected with the novel coronavirus, Steinke's patient was "very sick for a long time," spending nearly a month on a ventilator. Dr. Steinke confided, "if he had not lost that 10 pounds he may have very well lost his life." The doctor's rationale was simple: here was a man who barely survived a life-threatening COVID-19 infection. It would not have taken much more to have pushed him beyond the brink, and into the grave.
Indeed, Steinke's message is powerful and simple: you don't have to get down to your "ideal weight" to reap profound benefits. Start making simple changes today. Consider a regular walking program. Why not finally eliminate those high-sugar and high-fat foods from your diet? Do something today and stick with it. Within a short time, you may find yourself dropping ten or more pounds. As a result, if you are exposed to COVID-19, there is evidence that you may fare far better.
To highlight these important issues, CompassHealth Consulting, Inc. has just launched two videos in the series "Medical Dialogues." Hosted by popular physician, author, and lecturer, David DeRose, MD, MPH, these videos feature Dr. Steinke with his encouraging message about weight loss. You can access the videos at https://youtu.be/soEuJvJsGHM and https://youtu.be/g734nsloneY.