Back to top

Obesity and risk of COVID-19: analysis of UK biobank

Whilst emerging evidence has suggested that those with cardiometabolic diseases are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and resulting complications, less is known about the relative importance of related lifestyle factors. Obesity in particular is associated with impaired pulmonary function, a suppressed immune system and has been identified as a risk factor in previous infectious outbreaks. Obesity also appears to be prevalent in subjects with COVID-19. However, as recently highlighted, there is a lack of information regarding the nature of association between body mass index (BMI) and COVID-19. 

In order to inform this area, we investigated the association between obesity and laboratory confirmed COVID-19 within UK Biobank (application number 36371). Our hypothesis was that BMI and waist circumference would be independently associated with COVID-19.


Yates, T., Razieh, C., Zaccardi, F., Davies, M.J. and Khunti, K., 2020. Obesity and risk of COVID-19: analysis of UK Biobank. Primary Care Diabetes.

Publication link

Access the publication here: