Tags: flu | complications | obese | pregnant

New Moms, Obese People Face Greater flu Risks

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Sep 2013 04:44 PM

New mothers and obese people face higher risks of complications and even death from influenza, according to a new study sponsored by the World Health Organization.
 
Researchers from McMaster University noted up to 500,000 people worldwide die of severe influenza each year, but there has been no clear evidence about who is more at risk for complications.
 
To identify at-risk groups, researchers reviewed 239 studies between 1918 and 2011. They examined risk factors for complications of influenza, such as pneumonia or needing ventilator support, admission to hospital or its intensive care unit, or dying.
 
The findings showed new mothers and obese people — two groups not typically regarded as risk groups — were at significantly higher risk of death and other severe outcomes from influenza.
 
"Policy makers and public health organizations need to recognize the poor quality of evidence that has previously supported decisions on who receives vaccines during an epidemic," said Dominik Mertz, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine of McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine who led the study, published online in the BMJ, the journal of the British Medical Association.
 
"If we can define the risk groups we can optimally allocate vaccines, and that is particularly important when and if there is vaccine shortage, say during a new pandemic."

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New mothers and obese people face higher risks of complications and even death from influenza, according to a new study sponsored by the World Health Organization.
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2013-44-03
Tuesday, 03 Sep 2013 04:44 PM
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