July 11 (Bloomberg) -- Extremely fat swine flu sufferers may
have a tendency to become severely ill, health officials in the
U.S. and Europe said, after a report showed a striking
prevalence of obesity among patients hospitalized in Michigan.
Nine of 10 patients with the pandemic flu strain admitted to
an intensive care unit at Ann Arbor from late May to early
June, were obese and seven were extremely obese, with
a body mass index of at least 40, doctors said. Three of the
10 died and seven had no other known health problems.
The study, in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report yesterday,
supports a pattern seen by doctors tracking the pandemic in
hospital reports from Glasgow to Melbourne and from Santiago to
New York. Researchers say the trend is surprising because obesity
hasnt been identified previously as a risk factor for severe
complications of seasonal flu.
Clinicians should be aware that severe illness and fatal
outcomes also can occur in patients without known risk factors
for complications of seasonal influenza, including persons with
extreme obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
in Atlanta said in an editorial note accompanying its report.
With the new virus on a collision course with the obesity epidemic,
the World Health Organization says its gathering statistics to
confirm and understand this development.
Morbid obesity is one of the most common findings turning up in
severely ill patients, said Nikki Shindo, who is leading the investigation
of swine flu patients at the WHO in Geneva. Its a huge problem.
The complete article may be read at the URL above.
Intensive-Care Patients With Severe Novel Influenza
A (H1N1) Virus Infection Michigan, June 2009
Bushell, R. & Sheldon, P. (eds),
Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit,
Place, New York: Cognizant Communication Books.
Wellness Tourism: Bibliographic and Webliographic Essay
David P. Dillard