Severity of COVID-19: Causes and Consequences — From Obesity to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Diāna Arāja (Coresponding Author), Vita Rovīte, Modra Murovska, Anna Terentjeva, Diāna Vaidere, Katrīne Vecvagare, Ludmila Vīksna

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In circumstances of COVID-19 epidemiological uncertainty, the causes and consequences of the disease remain important issues. The aim of this study was to investigate obesity as a potential predisposition and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) as a possible consequence of COVID-19. The study was conducted in two parts: a theoretical part, in which a literature review was performed, and an empirical part, in which COVID-19 patient survey data were analysed. To identify the main findings regarding the relationship between obesity and COVID-19, the literature review was focused on the investigation of systematic reviews and meta-analyses by three databases — Med-line (via PubMed), Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, and PROSPERO (International prospective register of systematic reviews). The patient survey was performed to investigate the relationship between obesity and severity of the disease, as well as the presence of CFS symptoms in COVID-19 patients in Latvia. The main findings of the literature review showed that obesity increases the risk of hospitalisation, disease severity, clinical complications, poor outcomes, and mortality. The results of the patient survey showed that overweight and obesity were more critical factors for men (males) suffering with COVID-19 than for women (females) in Latvia. The patient group with obesity caused almost half of all hospitalisations. The research data assumed that CFS patients were not a high-risk group for COVID-19, but COVID-19 caused CFS-like symptoms in patients and potentially increased the number of undiagnosed patients. In the context of further epidemiological uncertainty and the possibility of severe post-viral consequences, preventive measures are becoming increasingly important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-416
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Section B. Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences.
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2021
Event3rd International Conference "Nutrition and Health 2020" - Riga, Latvia
Duration: 9 Dec 202011 Dec 2020
Conference number: 3


  • epidemiological uncertainty
  • risk factor
  • body mass index
  • Disease
  • literature review

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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