Malnutrition and Risk of Severe COVID 19 Disease

Another good reason for ED patients to consider vaccination.

It is clear that a variety of medical problems put people infected with the COVID-19 virus at risk for more severe illness.  Recent findings show malnutrition increases risk of severe COVID-19, and this may have high relevance for those with current or prior eating disorders (Nature Open Access 22 July 2021).

This study looked at about 103,000 people (8604 children/adolescents and 94,495 adults) hospitalized for COVID-19.  A large diagnostic database was used to see if participants had received a diagnosis of malnutrition during the preceding 5 years. For children diagnosed with malnutrition, there was an elevated risk for severe COVID-19, and the relationship was much stronger among adults. The cause of the malnutrition was not recorded in the database. This is a limitation, but it is extremely likely that a variety of causes were present as well, and it seems likely that at least some adults and children may have had an ED.

Certainly, this raises the possibility that those with EDs are at higher than normal risk for serious COVID disease. Moreover, it points out the importance of advocating vigorously for those with EDs to become fully vaccinated against COVID 19.

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