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Patients who have extra body fat surrounding their organs are more prone to have severe COVID-19



Indianapolis, Indiana – A recent study that was published in Nature Communications suggests that having too much fat may make COVID-19 infections more severe.

Researchers in Poland examined 47 samples of fat tissue from victims of the virus in a lab investigation. Both visceral fat and subcutaneous fat, which is found just below the skin, were examined. Because it surrounds the organs, visceral fat is seen as being more harmful than other types of fat.

Researchers discovered that the virus was present in 50% of the tissue samples.

Both types of infection were present in the trial, but researchers believe that extra visceral fat is more dangerous because it attracts COVID-19 more readily than subcutaneous fat.

“Visceral adipocytes are more susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2,” lead study author, Dr. Marcelo Mori, wrote in a news release. “Viral load increased far more in this fat cell type than in subcutaneous adipocytes. We believe this was due mainly to higher levels of the protein ACE-2 [to which the virus binds to invade cells] on the cell surface.”