While more research is needed, obesity does play a role in the response to viral infections as well as immunizations, said Kara Dupuy-McCauley, MD, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Obesity, which is widespread in the United States, impacts the response to viral infections as well as immune response to vaccines, said Kara Dupuy-McCauley, MD, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who spoke at CHEST 2022.
What is the impact of obesity on viral infections and immunizations?
Well, to summarize the impact of obesity on viral infections and immunizations, I think that we do probably need to do a little bit more work to understand exactly what the impacts are, especially when it comes to obesity and immunizations, because I think that body of literature has a little bit more contradictory information. But I think that it's safe to say that obesity does increase the risk of contracting a viral infection, at least in the specific viral infections where it has been studied. And, it's widely known that obesity also increased the risk of morbidity and mortality as a result of viral infection.
And I think, based on the research that I've done, there probably is a difference in in vaccine response just because of the immunity impairment that comes along with obesity. But I think we do need a little bit more research to understand exactly what the impact is.