Over the past few days, Van der Voort and his colleagues feverishly searched for an explanation for the “excessive” proportion of obese who end up in intensive care. The amount of adipose tissue seems to be the culprit.

What’s up with that?

The SARS-Covid19 virus, which we know from platelets as a type of sea mine, invades the lung cells through the ACE2 receptors, Van der Voort explains. These angiotensin converting enzymes are proteins on the outside of cells.

The coronavirus is particularly fond of ACE2 receptors in the lungs. It clings to this protein and then invades the lung cells. The more fat tissue, the more ACE2 receptors, the more room for the virus to cause damage.

Does this only happen in the lungs?

“We also hear from patients who get diarrhea, so it can also occur in the intestines. But apparently something is happening in the lung cells to such a degree that a patient eventually needs respiration. “

People who contract the coronavirus first get minor complaints. After eight to thirteen days, some of the patients approach intensive care. The most serious cases require ventilation. This hardly happens to thin people. Obese people with a BMI score above 25 all the more so.

Does the use of cholesterol inhibitors or other medicines still have an adverse effect?

“I don’t suspect that the clinical picture has anything to do with drug use. It is the combination of a lot of adipose tissue and Covid19 that results in direct lung damage. “

And now?

,, Well. That is the next question. We are all exploring ideas. “

Why are men more serious than women?

“Normally the ratio for viruses is 60/40. At Covid19 we are at 70/30. So men are at a disadvantage. That may have to do with that ACE2 receptor. It is on the x chromosome and women have two of them. “

In an interview in the LC on March 21, you said, “If 100 beds in the intensive care unit fail, I will have a pain in my stomach again.” How is the situation in the UMCG?

“We are extremely busy organizing everything. We now have 59 IC beds, 69 tomorrow, 91 next week and 112 the following week. That stomach ache will come in two weeks. If those 112 beds don’t turn out to be enough. “”

Also read | Head of intensive care UMCG is in a very bad dream that turns out to be real every day

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