Obesity ups death risk for swine flu patients

January 5th, 2011 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 5 (IANS) Extreme obesity upped the death risk for those infected with H1N1 or swine flu in 2009, a study shows.Researchers co-related extreme obesity with a nearly three-fold increased odds of death from swine flu.

Half of Californians older than 20 years hospitalised with the flu were obese, reports the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Data from 500 adults hospitalised with H1N1 in the first four months of 2009 in California were analysed to test the hypothesis of obesity as a risk factor for increased fatality.

The data was collected between April 20 and August 11, 2009, by health providers and submitted to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Extreme obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) - a height to weight ratio - equal to or over 40, according to a CDPH statement.

Extremely obese persons with a body mass index equal to or over 40 should get vaccinated annually for influenza, according to study author Janice K. Louie of the CDPH.

Louie stressed that more research is needed to understand why extremely obese people were more likely to die from the 2009 H1N1 infection.

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