COVID-19 infection, progression, and vaccination: Focus on obesity and related metabolic disturbances

Annemarie J F Westheim, Albert V Bitorina, Jan Theys, Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Coronaviruses are constantly circulating in humans, causing common colds and mild respiratory infections. In contrast, infection with the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), can cause additional severe complications, particularly in patients with obesity and associated metabolic disturbances. Obesity is a principal causative factor in the development of the metabolic syndrome; a series of physiological, biochemical, clinical, and metabolic factors that increase the risk of obesity-associated diseases. "Metabolically unhealthy" obesity is, in addition to metabolic disturbances, also associated with immunological disturbances. As such, patients with obesity are more prone to develop serious complications from infections, including those from SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we first describe how obesity and related metabolic disturbances increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Then, mechanisms contributing to COVID-19 complications and poor prognosis in these patients are discussed. Finally, we discuss how obesity potentially reduces long-term COVID-19 vaccination efficacy. Despite encouraging COVID-19 vaccination results in patients with obesity and related metabolic disturbances in the short-term, it is becoming increasingly evident that long-term COVID-19 vaccination efficacy should be closely monitored in this vulnerable group.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalObesity Reviews
Volume22
Issue number10
Early online date16 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • CELL MEMORY
  • CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS
  • COVID-19
  • DIET-INDUCED OBESITY
  • EPICARDIAL ADIPOSE-TISSUE
  • INFLAMMATION
  • INFLUENZA
  • LIVER-INJURY
  • RISK-FACTOR
  • SARS-COV-2 INFECTION
  • VIRUS ENTRY
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2

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