Underweight, overweight, and obesity as independent risk factors for hospitalization in adults and children from influenza and other respiratory viruses Article uri icon


  • Background: The relationship between obesity and risk of complications described during the 2009 influenza pandemic is poorly defined for seasonal influenza and other viral causes of influenza-like illness (ILI). Methods: An observational cohort of hospitalized and outpatient participants with ILI was conducted in six hospitals in Mexico. Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested for influenza and other common respiratory pathogens. Results: A total of 4778 participants were enrolled in this study and had complete data. A total of 2053 (43.0%25) had severe ILI. Seven hundred and seventy-eight (16.3%25) were positive for influenza, 2636 (55.2%25) were positive for other viral respiratory pathogens, and 1364 (28.5%25) had no respiratory virus isolated. Adults with influenza were more likely to be hospitalized if they were underweight (OR: 5.20), obese (OR: 3.18), or morbidly obese (OR: 18.40) compared to normal-weight adults. Obese adults with H1N1 had a sixfold increase in odds of hospitalization over H3N2 and B (obese OR: 8.96 vs 1.35, morbidly obese OR: 35.13 vs 5.58, respectively) compared to normal-weight adults. In adults with coronavirus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza, and rhinovirus, participants that were underweight (OR: 4.07) and morbidly obese (OR: 2.78) were more likely to be hospitalized as compared to normal-weight adults. All-cause influenza-like illness had a similar but less pronounced association between underweight or morbidly obesity and hospitalization. Conclusions: There is an increased risk of being hospitalized in adult participants that are underweight or morbidly obese, regardless of their viral pathogen status. Having influenza, however, significantly increases the odds of hospitalization in those who are underweight or morbidly obese. © 2018 The Authors. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Published by John Wiley %26 Sons Ltd.

publication date

  • 2019-01-01