Data has shown that individuals with common metabolic and cardiac disorders (eg, type 2 diabetes and obesity, hypertension or heart failure) face an increased risk of hospitalization for COVID-19. Now, researchers from Tufts University have built a statistical model that calculated the percentage of hospitalizations that could have been prevented without these 4 underlying conditions. Based on 900,000 hospitalizations that occurred through November 2020, 30% of hospitalizations for COVID-19 were due to obesity, 26% to hypertension, 21% to diabetes, and 12% to heart failure. The team acknowledged that the individuals still would have been infected, but most likely not have been sick enough to warrant hospitalization. Because individuals often have more than one of these conditions, the model was able to calculate that in total, 64% of hospitalizations might have been prevented if not for the 4 conditions.
Lead study author Meghan O’Hearn encouraged medical providers to educate patients who may be at risk for severe COVID-19 and consider promoting preventive lifestyle measures, such as improved dietary quality and physical activity, to improve overall cardiometabolic health.
–National Institutes of Health