Body weight, ‘bad’ cholesterol: new risk factors for Covid

Washington- Maintaining a healthy body weight and increasing HDL or the “ good ” cholesterol may help reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections, researchers say in a new study.

Previous studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes and a high body mass index are at greater risk of hospitalizations and other serious complications from Covid-19.

However, new research from the University of Maryland in the United States has identified certain lifestyle factors like body weight and cholesterol as new risk factors for Covid-19.

“Our results indicate some healthy steps people can take to potentially reduce their risk of Covid-19 infection,” said Charles Hong, professor of medicine at the university’s medical school.

“Body weight control is very important during this time, and measures to increase HDL levels like regular exercise and a diet high in monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocados could also be helpful. “Hong noted.

The team found that people who were positive for Covid were more likely to be obese or have type 2 diabetes. They were also at greater risk of getting a symptomatic infection in the first place, the researchers said.

In contrast, those who tested negative were more likely to have high levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and to be at a healthy weight with a normal body mass index (BMI), the study published in the PLoS ONE review.

“Some basic cardiometabolic factors appear to protect a person from Covid-19 infection while others make a person more vulnerable to infection,” Hong said.

“But this study was not designed to determine what factors actually cause Covid-19 infections. These are statistical associations that underscore the importance of a healthy immune system to protect against Covid-19 infection, ”Hong added.

For the study, the team used data from UK Biobank of 5,000,000 British volunteers over 40 years of age. Health factors were compared between those who tested positive for Covid-19 and those who tested negative. (IANS)