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COVID in seniors 5X less likely to be severe if vegetarian (small study) – April 2022


COVID-19 Illness Severity in the Elderly in Relation to Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian Diets: A Single-Center Experience

Front. Nutr., 29 April 2022 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.837458
Yi-Cheng Hou1, Wen-Lin Su2,3* and You-Chen Chao3,4*
1Department of Nutrition, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei City, Taiwan
2Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei City, Taiwan
3School of Medicine, Tzu-Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan
4Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei City, Taiwan

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The first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Taiwan occurred in May 2021. The risk for and severity of this disease vary and are highly dependent on personal habits and comorbidities. Moreover, the gut microbiome, which may be affected by diet, is highly susceptible with regard to the risk and severity of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. The relationship between dietary habits, nutritional status, and the effects of these factors on the immune system in the context of a global pandemic is an extremely important topic of immediate concern. Hence, the aim of this study was to explore the effect of vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets on COVID-19 severity during the pandemic. We conducted a retrospective evaluation of 509 patients who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 at a single medical center between May 2021 and August 2021. Patients were divided into three groups according to disease severity. For patients aged ≥65 years, COVID-19 symptom severity was statistically significantly and inversely associated with the adherence to a vegetarian diet (p = 0.013). Moreover, subgroup analysis results showed that older COVID-19 patients and those with a non-vegetarian diet had a higher risk of contracting critically severe COVID-19 [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 5.434, p = 0.005]. Further research is needed to determine the effects of dietary habits on COVID-19 risk and severity during the global pandemic.
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ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
17606 Vegi COVID seniors.jpg admin 16 May, 2022 17.95 Kb 226
17605 Vegi elderly COVID.pdf admin 16 May, 2022 351.85 Kb 246