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How weight loss surgery may affect COVID-19

File of bariatric surgery center (Copyright 2021 by Cleveland Clinic News Service. All rights reserved.)

There’s good news when it comes to bariatric surgery and COVID-19.

A recent Cleveland Clinic study shows those who’ve had weight loss surgery are less likely to be hospitalized for the virus.

“It was surprising because that was the first time that we could show that significant weight loss can be protective, to this extent, in patients with severe viral infection,” said Ali Aminian, MD, a bariatric surgeon and lead researcher for the study.

Researchers examined more than 4,300 patients with COVID-19 between March and July of 2020.

Their goal was to see how the virus impacted those with severe obesity compared to those who previously had bariatric surgery.

Results revealed patients who were severely obese had higher hospitalization rates.

“We found that in patients with severe obesity, 42 percent of them required hospital admission versus only 18 percent of patients who had history of bariatric surgery,” said Dr. Aminian.

Dr. Aminian adds people are generally healthier after losing a large amount of excess weight, which gives them a better chance at fighting the virus.