Obesity is One Risk Factor Causing H1N1 Flu

Largest analysis until date

The largest analysis that has been conducted until now shows that age and other chronic conditions are major cause of H1N1 pandemic flu. The analysis studied over eighty thousand patients diagnosed with this disease. The study has brought forth a new factor that increases the risk of the disease, obesity.

Obesity a cause for H1N1 pandemic flu

The analysis found that other factors causing this disease were similar to the ones that cause regular influenza. However, the researches, which included Anthony Mounts and his colleagues, reported that one new risk factor found as a leading cause of H1N1 pandemic flu was obesity amongst the individuals.

Profile of the patients included in the study

Six percent of the obese patients (having a body mass index of over thirty) were admitted. In comparison, 11.3% of the patients required intensive care while twelve percent of the patients died. A similar sample was determined amongst individuals with a body mass index of over forty. Based on their findings, Dr. Mounts and his colleagues reported that the odds ratio for death was 2.9.

Details about the study

The analysis included studying patients from nineteen countries or administrative regions. The information was collected between April 1, 2009 and January 1, 2010. The primary goal of the study was to analyze the risk factors in patients based on the severity of the infection. The information was made available for 70000 people requiring inpatient care for lab-diagnosed H1N1 flu, 9700 patients admitted to intensive care, and 2500 patients who died. The severity of the disease increased with the age of the patients. The youngest patients required inpatient care while the elderly patients were at a higher risk of death.

Findings of the study

3.3% of the patients younger than five years required admission while 3.2% of patients aged between five years and fourteen years were admitted. Similarly, the ratio for elderly patients death was 1.5 and 1.6 for patients aged between fifty and sixty-four years and over sixty-five years, respectively. Moreover, the study found that patients with severe medical conditions, such as diabetes, cardiac disease, and renal disease were at a higher risk. The average percent of patients with one chronic condition needing inpatient care was 31.1%, in comparison to 52.3% of those who required intensive care, and 61.8% of those who died of the disease. Finally, pregnant women in their third trimester accounted for more than fifty percent of the cases of expectant mothers suffering from pandemic flu.