Influenza Hospitalization More Likely in People Who Are Underweight and Obese

December 13, 2018 (HealthDay)

Adults with influenza are more likely to be hospitalized if they are obese or underweight than if they are normal weight, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

Joe-Ann S. Moser, from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues assessed 4,778 hospitalized and outpatient participants with influenza-like illness being treated in six hospitals in Mexico.

The researchers found that adults with influenza were more likely to be hospitalized if they were underweight (odds ratio [OR], 5.2), obese (OR, 3.18), or morbidly obese (OR, 18.4) compared with normal-weight adults. There was a sixfold increase in odds of hospitalization for obese adults with H1N1 versus H3N2 and B (obese, OR, 8.96 versus 1.35; morbidly obese, OR, 35.13 versus 5.58) compared with normal-weight adults. Underweight patients (OR, 4.07) and morbidly obese patients (OR, 2.78) were more likely to be hospitalized for coronavirus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza, and rhinovirus versus normal-weight adults.

“Clinicians should keep a patient’s body mass index in mind when evaluating risk and deciding on a course of treatment,” the authors write.