COVID-19 Patients with High BMI Three Times More Likely to Develop Pulmonary Embolism

By News Release

Pulmonary EmbolismRecent literature suggests that obesity in COVID-19 is associated with more severe disease. A new study out of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit reports for the first time that COVID-19 patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 may be nearly three times more likely to develop a pulmonary embolism (PE).

The study’s objective was to evaluate the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients who developed PE and compare their inflammatory markers, D-dimer values and outcomes. During a one-month period, 328 patients positive on COVID-19 RT-PCR testing underwent pulmonary CT angiography. Of these, 72/328 (22%) were found to have a PE.

The study also found that COVID-19 patients on statin therapy prior to admission are less likely to develop a PE. The authors suggest that COVID-19 positive patients with higher levels of inflammation and D-dimer values are more susceptible to developing PE.

The authors found a significant difference in C-reactive protein (CRP) and D-dimer between PE positive and PE negative groups, which may suggest that COVID-19 positive patients with higher levels of inflammation and D-dimer values are more susceptible to developing pulmonary embolism. In addition, they found that non-intubated patients who developed PE required more oxygen prior to pulmonary CT angiography evaluation than their non-PE counterparts.

The findings were published May 14 in the journal Radiology.

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COVID-19 Patients with High BMI Three Times More Likely to Develop Pulmonary Embolism.  Appl Radiol. 

By News Release| May 15, 2020

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