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Obese people were more at risk of severe Covid for the opposite reason to what doctors originally thought, a new study suggests.

Experts initially believed that severely overweight people were becoming more ill when they caught coronavirus because their bodies were already highly inflamed, triggering a dangerous immune overload.

But now Cambridge University has found that obese people actually mount a poorer inflammatory response than healthy weight individuals, meaning they struggle to fight off the virus.

Patients suffering from severe Covid are often given anti-inflammatory drugs to help dial down the immune system, but the new study suggests the opposite might be needed for obese people.

All knowing those doctors, right?

18 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. “obese people actually mount a poorer inflammatory response than healthy weight individuals,”

    This is nothing more than simple fat shaming and therefore hate speech by the ‘excessive bodyfat challenged’.

    This study must be memory holed immediately, their grant money withdrawn and they must receive a visit from Plod.

    After which, time in a State run re-education Gulag an holistic awareness / diversity / inclusivity course.

  2. I’m beginning to think that (rather as the case with politics) the sort of people who want to become doctors are the last people who should be allowed to become one. A bigger bunch of arrogant jerks you’d be hard pressed to find outside a estate agents convention.

  3. Hang on, are the porkers ‘inflamed’ or not? And if so, why isn’t ibuprofen a miracle weightloss drug?

    Bearing in mind that almost everyone who died from the disease was well over 80, how many fatsters actually succumbed? If Britain’s chubbiest are making it to 80 and more, we might as well break out the pies.

  4. This seems to be a gentle way of hinting that a lot of “Covid deaths” were actually iatrogenic. I should think that’s pretty likely. The substacker John Dee has persuaded himself that it’s true.

  5. It’s well-established that taking paracetamol will make a cold last longer, because it reduces the body’s response to the infection; even if it alleviates the suffering. So why did doctors think that obese people work differently?

  6. Iatrogenic?
    Keeping the ward windows closed.
    Providing a conveyor belt of unhealthy people to be infected.
    All staff and patients had to share poorly recirculated ventilation.
    Lick out poorly elderly patients into care homes.
    Forcibly intubating patients who could breathe unaided.
    Going on the telly to spread panic.

    For two thousand years doctors have been killing people. I thought that finally science had advanced far enough that they would now be, on balance, prolonging rather than shortening life.
    I was wrong.

  7. First define: obese.

    Then eliminate confounders: many over-weight people have underlying physiological conditions, or mental health problems (stress being one), cardiovascular conditions, poor lung function, they often smoke, poor diet, don’t exercise… for example.

    Over-weight people are more at risk from most things for all the same reasons.

    The SARS CoV 2 was no more serious in all the usual people than influenza, but unlike the latter it left the young, particularly babies and infants, alone.

  8. Ah.. I see that on the Isles “smart people” are finally figuring out that chronic inflammation engenders a different immune response to acute inflammation, especially when said chronic inflammation is already being suppressed with anti-inflammatory agents.

    Is this one of those “it’s only Real™ when it’s Discovered™ in Great-Britain by British Scientists™.” things?

    Well done, Cambridge boffins. Well done!! *does a slow NHS applause*

  9. Have they admitted masks were bollocks yet?

    Might depend on who “they” are, and what level of admission you choose. This lot seem to be a “gold standard” outfit for meta studies of randomised controlled studies:

    Medical or surgical masks

    Ten studies took place in the community, and two studies in healthcare workers. Compared with wearing no mask in the community studies only, wearing a mask may make little to no difference in how many people caught a flu‐like illness/COVID‐like illness (9 studies; 276,917 people); and probably makes little or no difference in how many people have flu/COVID confirmed by a laboratory test (6 studies; 13,919 people). Unwanted effects were rarely reported; discomfort was mentioned.

    Technically they say they have low to moderate confidence in the results, but Tom Jefferson, Oxford epidemiologist and lead author, was pretty unambiguous when speaking to a journalist:

    “There is just no evidence that they make any difference, full stop.”

    And N95 masks? “Makes no difference — none of it.”

  10. @JohnB: “Over-weight people are more at risk from most things for all the same reasons”

    And yet overweight people comfortably outlive “normal weight” people. Paradox, eh?

  11. Dearieme.. For a given value of “overweight”… If you take the NHS definitions I’m both borderline obese and borderline underweight.

  12. PJF – In the grand scheme of spaffing, what we wasted on masks wasn’t a significant sum, but it was probably still hundreds of millions.

    Bloody hell.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    Have they admitted masks were bollocks yet?

    My recent stay in hospital was quite revealing. Masks are still supposed to be compulsory for everyone in the hospital but nobody was enforcing it and I’d say that most visitors didn’t bother, including Mrs BiND who at the start wouldn’t go anywhere without a mask.

    Nurses paid lip service to them wearing them mostly as chin warmers except when they were dealing with patients and even then noses were generally uncovered or mask straps crossed to make breathing easier. The consultant didn’t bother and neither did half the retinue they always have in their wake.

    Auxiliary staff tended to be the most observant, whether that’s because they were being managed and told to wear them, wasn’t clear. Patients didn’t wear them except in A&E and as soon as I started being treated it came off, although again for most of the time patients in A&E paid lip service to them. A&E staff were the only ones who took it most seriously, but they often don’t know what they are dealing with.

    The only time I saw it being enforced was when the 90-year-old in the bed opposite me was being taken for a chest x-ray and the porter insisted he wore one while being moved through the hospital. It should come as no surprise that the porter’s demeanour throughout was that of jobsworth.

    As Tim used to say quite often, watch what they do not what they say, but we’ve known that throughout the pandemic.

  14. . . . what we wasted on masks wasn’t a significant sum, but it was probably still hundreds of millions.

    We spent £436 million on storage penalties for PPE. That’s not total storage costs, that’s just for stuff being left somewhere for too long.

    The whole thing was absolute batshit Stalinism; where a syphilitic Stalin was trying to out-Joaquin playing the role of the Joker; where the Joker was on PCP and LSD for his paranoid anxiety neurosis whilst being attacked by an outraged troop of rabid, pink-arsed baboons. On fire.

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