The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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Acta Endocrinologica(Bucharest) is live in PubMed Central

October - December 2020, Volume 16, Issue 4

Furtunescu FL, Pistol A

Obesity as Key Challenge for the Health Systems Resilience During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Acta Endo (Buc) 2020, 16 (4): 479-486
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2020.479

The COVID-19 pandemic affected 62 million people and caused more than 1.4 million deaths globally till the end of November 2020. Our study aimed to explore the association between obesity and the negative outcomes of COVID-19 worldwide. The prevalence of obesity and overweight per country was extracted from the World Health Organization information system and, for measuring the COVID-19 negative outcomes, we calculated the cumulated notification rate and the mortality for the interval since starting of pandemic till the 29th of November 2020. We explored the linear relationship between COVID-19 and obesity by a bivariate Spearman rank correlation, interpreted using the rule of thumb for 95% level of confidence. We found globally a positive, moderate, and statistically significant correlation between prevalence of obesity and overweight and the negative outcomes of COVID-19. Some of the results found at global level were confirmed in the disaggregated analysis per WHO regions. Due to the linear association of obesity with the COVID-19 negative outcomes, effective actions are needed for keeping the health systems resilience during the COVID-19. Preventing the obese and overweight people to be infected, prioritizing access to vaccination and to adequate care and treatment could be effective.

Keywords: obesity, body mass index, COVID-19, health systems’ resilience.

Correspondence: Florentina Ligia Furtunescu MD PhD, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Public Health and Management, 1-3, dr Leonte Anastasievici ST, Bucharest, 050463, Romania, E-mail: