Summary What is already known about this topic? Obesity increases the risk for severe COVID-19–associated illness. What is added by this report? Among 148,494 U.S. adults with COVID-19, a nonlinear relationship was found between body mass index (BMI) and COVID-19 severity, with lowest risks at BMIs near the threshold between healthy weight and overweight in most instances, then increasing with higher BMI. Overweight and obesity were risk factors for invasive mechanical ventilation. Obesity was a risk factor for hospitalization and death, particularly among adults aged <65 years. What are the implications for public health practice? These findings highlight clinical and public health implications of higher BMIs, including the need for intensive management of COVID-19–associated illness, continued vaccine prioritization and masking, and policies to support healthy behaviors.

 

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Overweight Man Measuring His Belly with tape measure

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Citation: Kompaniyets L, Goodman AB, Belay B, et al. Body Mass Index and Risk for COVID-19–Related Hospitalization, Intensive Care Unit Admission, Invasive Mechanical Ventilation, and Death — United States, March–December 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:355–361. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7010e4external icon.