/ Photo Alliance, Friso Gench
Los Angeles – Members of the American Health Insurance Corporation who reported decreased physical activity in regular surveys at doctor’s appointments were more likely to be seriously ill with COVID-19 if they had SARS-CoV-2. According to a study, the risk of death was also high British Journal of Sports Medicine (2021; DOI: 10.1136 / bjsports-2021-104080) Clearly increased.
In addition to aging, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are among the most important risk factors for the severe COVID-19 cycle. Lack of exercise was not one of them yet. Lack of exercise is known to aid the development of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. However, lack of exercise is so rarely noted in medical records, that the effect is difficult to assess.
On the other hand, the Kaiser Permanente health insurance company has a “vital exercise score” (EVS) that is prescribed every time a doctor visits. Patients are asked how many times they have exercised in the past two months and for how long. “Continuously Active” are insured persons who engage in physical activity for more than 150 minutes per week by jogging, walking, or other sports with moderate to high physical stress, as recommended by the US Physical Activity Guidelines. Patients who exercise less than 10 minutes per week are classified as “consistently inactive”. In between, the patients are categorized as “Partially Active”.
A team led by Robert Sallis of the Insurance Company’s Fontana Medical Center in Los Angeles examined how physical activity affected the course of infection in 48,440 patients, including doctors, between March 2018 and March 2020, that is, before the start of an epidemic. Times at least.
Outcome: Of the 6,984 insured persons classified as “consistently inactive” in the two years prior to the injury, 10.5% were treated in hospital and 2.8% in the intensive care unit. Of the 3,118 insured people who were “consistently active,” only 3.2% were treated in the clinic and 1% in the intensive care unit.
The incidence of courses of fatal disease was also significantly higher in “continuously inactive” patients, at 2.4% versus 0.4% in “continuously active” patients. Patients were “partially active” in the intervals between all evaluations.
For patients “consistently inactive,” Sallis assigned an odds ratio of 2.26 (95% confidence interval 1.81 to 2.83) for hospitalization and 1.73 (1.18 to 2.55) for admission to the ICU as well as 2.49 (1.33 to 4.67) for a lethal outcome. The risk was also slightly increased compared to the “partially active” patients.
Lack of physical activity was the most important risk factor for a fatal outcome after an age of over 60 years and a history of an organ transplant. The researchers took age, origin, and comorbidities into account in their calculations.
Observational study cannot prove causation. It remains possible that better health, regardless of physical activity, accounts for the easier course of disease.
According to Sallis, regular physical activity is known to improve immune function. Previous studies have shown that people who are active regularly are less likely to seriously contract a viral infection. Regular exercise reduces inflammatory factors and promotes cardiovascular health, which will benefit patients in the event of illness. Additionally, people who exercise are less likely to have cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes or obesity. © rme / aerzteblatt.de