A new study has said that malnutrition could increase the risk of Covid-19 infection and complications related to it. The disease could become severe in children. Adults with a history of malnutrition are also at higher risk of severity. The study said that this could increase the risk of death in such patients. Besides, they require mechanical ventilation during hospitalization due to the infection. Researchers said that a poor diet could make the body vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. It directly affects the functioning of the immune system. It also increases the risk of other infections. They said that both kids and adults who were previously diagnosed with malnutrition are more likely to face an increased risk of severe Covid infection.
The study said that the risk of Covid severity in people above 79 years of age continued to rise. This risk remains the same in this category with and without malnutrition. Malnutrition has been one of the major problems behind the global health crisis. It is not restricted to kids only. It also affects adults. Poor countries have high cases of malnutrition. Researchers said that malnutrition will continue to overlap with the Covid-19 crisis. The virus has already affected millions across the world. Researchers, however, said that more medical data is required for children below 5 years to suggest that malnutrition can increase the risk of Covid severity.
The study involved understanding malnutrition diagnoses in people who later were infected by the virus. Researchers analyzed the data of more than 8,000 children and 94,000 adults above 18 years in the US. All the participants were admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 infection. They compared patients diagnosed with malnutrition after 2015 to those without any history of malnutrition. They found that patients with a history of malnutrition were likely to face Covid severity. The risk was high in both kids and adults. Meanwhile, a UN report has said that one-tenth of the world’s population was undernourished last year. The global hunger levels increased due to many factors like climate change and slump in economic activities due to the pandemic.