THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Adults with influenza are more likely to be hospitalized if they are obese or underweight than if they are normal weight, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

Joe-Ann S. Moser, from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues assessed 4,778 hospitalized and outpatient participants with influenza-like illness being treated in six hospitals in Mexico.

The researchers found that adults with influenza were more likely to be hospitalized if they were underweight (odds ratio [OR], 5.2), obese (OR, 3.18), or morbidly obese (OR, 18.4) compared with normal-weight adults. There was a sixfold increase in odds of hospitalization for obese adults with H1N1 versus H3N2 and B (obese, OR, 8.96 versus 1.35; morbidly obese, OR, 35.13 versus 5.58) compared with normal-weight adults. Underweight patients (OR, 4.07) and morbidly obese patients (OR, 2.78) were more likely to be hospitalized for coronavirus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza, and rhinovirus versus normal-weight adults.

“Clinicians should keep a patient’s body mass index in mind when evaluating risk and deciding on a course of treatment,” the authors write.

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