Physical Inactivity Linked To More Severe COVID-19 Infection
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Physical inactivity is linked to more severe COVID-19 infection and a heightened risk of dying from the disease, finds a study. Patients with COVID-19 who were consistently inactive during the 2 years preceding the pandemic were more likely to be admitted to hospital and to die than were patients who had consistently met physical activity guidelines.

To explore its potential impact on the severity of the infection, including hospital admission rates, need for intensive care, and death, the researchers compared these outcomes in 48,440 adults with confirmed COVID-19 infection. The patients' average age was 47. Around half had no underlying conditions, including diabetes, COPD, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and cancer; nearly 18% had only one, and almost 32% had two or more.

All of them had reported their level of regular physical activity at least three times at outpatient clinics. This was classified as consistently inactive (0-10 mins/week); some activity (11-149 mins/week); or consistently meeting physical activity guidelines (150+ mins/week). Some 7% were consistently meeting physical activity guidelines;15% were consistently inactive, with the remainder reporting some activity.

White patients were most likely to consistently meet physical activity guidelines, followed by Asian patients, Hispanic patients and African-American patients. Some 9% of the total were admitted to hospital; around 3% required intensive care; and 2% died. Consistently meeting physical activity guidelines was strongly associated with a reduced risk of these outcomes.

After taking account of potentially influential factors, patients with COVID-19 who were consistently physically inactive were more than twice as likely to be admitted to hospital as those who clocked up 150+ minutes of physical activity every week. They were also 73% more likely to require intensive care, and 2.5 times more likely to die of the infection.

And patients who were consistently inactive were also 20% more likely to be admitted to hospital, 10% more likely to require intensive care, and 32% more likely to die of their infection than were patients who were doing some physical activity regularly.

Source:
https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2021/04/07/bjsports-2021-104080
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