Extreme obesity associated with higher risk of death for 2009 H1N1 patients

Jan 05, 2011

For those infected with the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus, extreme obesity was a powerful risk factor for death, according to an analysis of a public health surveillance database. In a study to be published in the February 1, 2011, issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers associated extreme obesity with a nearly three-fold increased odds of death from 2009 H1N1 influenza. Half of Californians greater than 20 years of age hospitalized with 2009 H1N1 were obese.

Data from 500 adults hospitalized with in the first four months of 2009 in California were analyzed to test the hypothesis of as a risk factor for increased fatality. Extreme obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) equal to or over 40. The data was collected April 20 – Aug. 11, 2009, by health providers and reported to local health departments, which subsequently provided the data to the California Department of Public Health. During this period, H1N1 accounted for 50 percent of influenza-like illnesses. Patients under 20 years of age and pregnant patients were excluded from the study.

"Extremely obese persons with a equal to or over 40 should get vaccinated annually for influenza," according to study author Janice K. Louie, MD, MPH, of the California Department of Public Health. "They should also see their health provider early if symptoms of influenza develop, so that they can get diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. This is especially important if the influenza is known to be circulating in the community and causing illness." Dr. Louie stressed that more research is needed to understand why extremely obese people are more likely to die from the 2009 H1N1 infection.

Explore further: WHO revises Ebola toll

More information: "A Novel Risk Factor for a Novel Virus: Obesity and 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1)" www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/cid/ciq152.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

H1N1 influenza hits older children

May 04, 2010

Children hospitalized with pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 were older and more likely to have underlying medical conditions than children hospitalized with seasonal influenza during prior flu seasons, according to a study ...

2009 H1N1 vaccine protects against 1918 influenza virus

Jun 15, 2010

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have determined people who were vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus may also be protected against the lethal 1918 Spanish influenza virus, which killed more than ...

Recommended for you

WHO revises Ebola toll

1 hour ago

The World Health Organization Friday revised its figures showing more people killed by the deadly Ebola virus, but the number of cases of the disease was slightly lower.

Routines most vital in avoiding Ebola infection: WHO

18 hours ago

Meticulously following stringent routines when putting on and removing protective equipment is more important than the kind of gear health care workers use to ward off Ebola infection, the World Health Organization said Friday.

A look at latest Ebola developments

19 hours ago

No African countries are on the United Nations list of contributors to fight Ebola. With few exceptions, African governments and institutions are offering only marginal support as the continent faces its ...

Liberia opens one of largest Ebola treatment centers

20 hours ago

Remembering those who have died in the world's deadliest Ebola outbreak, Liberia's president opened one of the country's largest Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia on Friday amid hopes that the disease is ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.