Obesity increases risk of severe illness connected with COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic expert says

First, obese patients are likely to have a weakened immune system. … that Dr. Aminian notes in those with obesity is an overactive immune response.

“Obesity is a chronic inflammatory state that causes the patient’s body to produce excessive amounts of cytokine, molecules that communicate and regulate the immune system,” the blog post states. “COVID-19 infections also trigger the release of cytokines. When combined with obesity, this can lead to an excess amount of cytokine in the body, called a ‘cytokine storm,’ that can cause damage to multiple body organs.”