Accountability for global health issues such as a pandemic and its devastating consequences are usually ascribed to a virus, but a comprehensive view should also take into account the state of the host. Data suggests that excessive nutrition is to blame for a yet unknown but not negligible portion of deaths attributed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. We analyzed the correlation between mean body mass index (BMI) and 2-year coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality rates reported by 181 countries worldwide. Almost two thirds of the countries included had a mean BMI greater or equal to 25, with death rates ranging from 3 to 6,280 per million. Death rates in countries with a mean BMI below 25 ranged from 3 to 1,533. When the analysis was restricted to countries where the extent of testing was deemed more representative of actual mortality, only 20.1% had a mean BMI <25 but the mortality difference persisted. A second analysis looking at pre-vaccination mortality obtained from a different source led to similar conclusions. Due to the nature of the variables, reverse causation can be excluded while common causation can not. A mean BMI <25 for a country seems to spare its citizens from the highest COVID-19 mortality rates. The impact of excess weight on global COVID-19 mortality is suspected to have been much higher than what currently perceived, here estimated at no less than a fourfold increase in mortality. Countries with normal mean BMI constitute precious test beds for the quantification of the effects of overeating on COVID-19 mortality.

The Impact of Mean Body Mass Index on Reported Mortality from COVID-19 across 181 Countries / Gabbrielli, R.; Pugno, N. M.. - In: FRONTIERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 2296-2565. - 2023, 11:(2023), p. 1106313. [10.3389/fpubh.2023.1106313]

The Impact of Mean Body Mass Index on Reported Mortality from COVID-19 across 181 Countries

Gabbrielli R.
Primo
;
Pugno N. M.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Accountability for global health issues such as a pandemic and its devastating consequences are usually ascribed to a virus, but a comprehensive view should also take into account the state of the host. Data suggests that excessive nutrition is to blame for a yet unknown but not negligible portion of deaths attributed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. We analyzed the correlation between mean body mass index (BMI) and 2-year coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality rates reported by 181 countries worldwide. Almost two thirds of the countries included had a mean BMI greater or equal to 25, with death rates ranging from 3 to 6,280 per million. Death rates in countries with a mean BMI below 25 ranged from 3 to 1,533. When the analysis was restricted to countries where the extent of testing was deemed more representative of actual mortality, only 20.1% had a mean BMI <25 but the mortality difference persisted. A second analysis looking at pre-vaccination mortality obtained from a different source led to similar conclusions. Due to the nature of the variables, reverse causation can be excluded while common causation can not. A mean BMI <25 for a country seems to spare its citizens from the highest COVID-19 mortality rates. The impact of excess weight on global COVID-19 mortality is suspected to have been much higher than what currently perceived, here estimated at no less than a fourfold increase in mortality. Countries with normal mean BMI constitute precious test beds for the quantification of the effects of overeating on COVID-19 mortality.
2023
Gabbrielli, R.; Pugno, N. M.
The Impact of Mean Body Mass Index on Reported Mortality from COVID-19 across 181 Countries / Gabbrielli, R.; Pugno, N. M.. - In: FRONTIERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 2296-2565. - 2023, 11:(2023), p. 1106313. [10.3389/fpubh.2023.1106313]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
fpubh-11-1106313.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: articolo
Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 683.93 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
683.93 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/386149
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact