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Covid-19 Patients With Physically Inactive Lifestyle More Likely To Die: Study

Updated On Jul 15, 2021

According to a recent study covering 50,000 Covid-19 infected people, lack of exercise is related with severe symptoms and a higher death risk. Researchers reported in British Journal of Sports Medicine that people who have been physically inactive for at least two years before the Covid-19 pandemic were more likely to be hospitalised, receive intensive care, and die. The study found that physical inactivity was surpassed only by advanced age as well as a history of organ transplant, as a risk factor for serious coronavirus disease. 

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The authors of the study stated that in comparison to other modifiable risk factors like obesity, smoking or hypertension, physical inactivity was the strongest risk factor across all outcomes. It must be noted that most pre-existing conditions linked with severe coronavirus disease are diabetes, advanced age, being male, obesity or cardiovascular disease. However, as of now, sedentary or inactive lifestyle has not been included.

To confirm whether inactive lifestyle increases the odds of severe infection, hospitalisation, admission into the ICU, and death, the researchers compared these outcomes in 48,440 coronavirus infected adults in the U.S, between January and October 2020. All patients had reported their level of regular physical activity at least three times between March 2018 and March 2020 at outpatient clinics. While 15% described themselves as inactive, 80% reported themselves to be somewhat active. 7% described themselves to be consistently active. 

Based on various factors, the researchers found that inactive novel coronavirus patients were more than twice as likely to be admitted to hospital as those who were most active. Moreover, they were 73% more likely to require intensive care, and 2.5 times more likely to die due to the infection. On the contrary, somewhat active patients were 20% more likely to be admitted to hospital, 10% more likely to require intensive care, and 32% more likely to die.

It must be noted that the findings also depend on self-reporting by patients, with a scope for bias.

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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