Obesity and its impact on COVID-19

Angélica J M de Leeuw, Maureen A M Oude Luttikhuis, Annemarijn C Wellen, Christine Müller, Cornelis F Calkhoven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has proven a challenge to healthcare systems since its first appearance in late 2019. The global spread and devastating effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on patients have resulted in countless studies on risk factors and disease progression. Overweight and obesity emerged as one of the major risk factors for developing severe COVID-19. Here we review the biology of coronavirus infections in relation to obesity. In particular, we review literature about the impact of adiposity-related systemic inflammation on the COVID-19 disease severity, involving cytokine, chemokine, leptin, and growth hormone signaling, and we discuss the involvement of hyperactivation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). Due to the sheer number of publications on COVID-19, we cannot be completed, and therefore, we apologize for all the publications that we do not cite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-915
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date6-Apr-2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2021

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