Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Obesity and covid-19

Obesity and covid-19: the unseen risks

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 16 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2823
  1. Akheel A Syed, consultant endocrinologist and honorary senior lecturer1,
  2. Handrean Soran, consultant endocrinologist and honorary senior lecturer2,
  3. Safwaan Adam, consultant endocrinologist3
  1. 1Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford M6 8HD, UK
  2. 2Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
  3. 3The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
  1. akheel.syed{at}

Two seemingly disparate risk factors have emerged for susceptibility and severity of covid-19: obesity1 and ethnicity.2 Several characteristics—including socioeconomic, cultural, or lifestyle factors, genetic predisposition, or pathophysiological differences—might influence susceptibility or response to covid-19 in people with black, Asian, and minority ethnic heritage,3 but black adults are the most likely of all ethnic groups to be overweight or obese.4 One poorly recognised risk factor in ethnic minority communities could be normal weight obesity, wherein individuals have excessive body …

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