(WYTV) – There is welcome news when it comes to bariatric surgery — the stomach-shrinking surgery — and the coronavirus.

The Cleveland Clinic has just finished a study of 4,000 patients who had the virus.

Some had that bariatric surgery and the clinic discovered that for the most part, it kept them from being hospitalized with the virus.

“It was surprising because that was the first time that we could show that the significant weight loss can be protective to this extent in patients with severe viral infection,” Dr. Ali Aminian said.

The Cleveland Clinic looked at patients who caught the coronavirus between March and July of last year.

Forty-two percent of virus patients who were severely obese had to go to the hospital for treatment. Only 18% of those with the stomach surgery had to go.

The takeaway? People are generally healthier after losing a large amount of excess weight, which gives them a better chance at fighting the virus.