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Coronavirus: Obesity increases risk of COVID-19 infection, death, Saudi study shows

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Obesity increases the risk of a coronavirus infection and it raises the possibility of being admitted to the hospital if infected, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday citing a recent study conducted by the Saudi Health Council (SHC) and the World Bank (WB).

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The study, conducted by a four-member joint team, also confirmed that an obese person has a higher chance of being admitted to the ICU and also raises the death risk if they contract the virus, SHC Secretary General Dr. Nahar bin Mizki al-Azmi confirmed, according to SPA.

The study’s findings showed that obese people are 47 percent more likely to become infected with COVID-19 compared to “fit people,” SPA reported. They are also 113 percent more likely to be admitted to the hospital and 74 percent more likely to be admitted to the ICU. The study also showed that obesity raises the death risk by 48 percent.

A study conducted over a one-year period from 2013 to 2014 found that 42 percent of the study's population with low physical activity levels and unhealthy diets in Saudi Arabia were obese.

The Kingdom has confirmed 311,855 coronavirus cases and 3,785 COVID-19-related deaths while 286,255 individuals have recovered as of August 31.

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