Scientific publications

Obesity as an adipose tissue dysfunction disease and a risk factor for infections - Covid-19 as a case study

Apr 2, 2021 | Magazine: European Journal of Internal Medicine

M F Landecho  1 , M Marin-Oto  2 , B Recalde-Zamacona  2 , I Bilbao  3 , Gema Frühbeck  4


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV2) disease (COVID-19) is a novel threat that hampers life expectancy especially in obese individuals. Though this association is clinically relevant, the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated.

SARS CoV2 enters host cells via the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 receptor, that is also expressed in adipose tissue. Moreover, adipose tissue is also a source of many proinflammatory mediators and adipokines that might enhance the characteristic COVID-19 cytokine storm due to a chronic low-grade inflammatory preconditioning.

Further obesity-dependent thoracic mechanical constraints may also incise negatively into the prognosis of obese subjects with COVID-19.

This review summarizes the current body of knowledge on the obesity-dependent circumstances triggering an increased risk for COVID-19 severity, and their clinical relevance.

CITATION  Eur J Intern Med. 2021 Sep;91:3-9.  doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2021.03.031.  Epub 2021 Apr 2.