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Obesity does not put patients at greater risk for acute respiratory illnesses


Obesity does not put patients at greater risk for acute respiratory illnesses

Dr.Elizabeth Halvorson, assistant professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist and colleagues conducted a prospective study and have found that obesity is not a risk factor for severe acute respiratory illnesses, including the flu, in children or adults.The research has been  published in the current online issue of the International Journal of Obesity.

The study findings were unexpected, said the study’s lead author, Elizabeth Halvorson, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist.”Published data from studies undertaken during the 2009 pandemic flu season showed it was a risk factor, but there weren’t many studies investigating the association between weight and severity of acute respiratory illnesses in children or adults during other winter respiratory seasons,” Halvorson said. “We undertook this study thinking that obesity would put patients at greater risk for other respiratory illnesses.”

The Wake Forest Baptist researchers enrolled 3,560 children and adults who came to the emergency department with acute respiratory illness over consecutive winter respiratory seasons from 2010 to 2014. Acute respiratory illness was defined as any illness that included symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and difficulty breathing. Study participants were divided by weight category (i.e. normal-weight, overweight, obese) for analysis.

The team looked at several different measures that indicated severity, including admission to the hospital, treatment with antibiotics, length of stay after being admitted and the need for extra oxygen during hospitalization.

“We did not see increased risk for hospitalization based on weight in children or adults, but further study is needed with more participants from different regions in the country,” Halvorson said.

Limitations of the study included the relatively small sample size for children and the exclusion of people who received care at outpatient clinics and urgent care centers, Halvorson said.

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Anjali Nimesh

Anjali Nimesh

Anjali Nimesh Joined Medical Dialogue as Reporter in 2016. she covers all the medical specialty news in different medical categories. She also covers the Medical guidelines, Medical Journals, rare medical surgeries as well as all the updates in medical filed. She is a graduate from Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University. She can be contacted at editorial@medicaldialogues.in Contact no. 011-43720751
Source: Eureka Alert

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