People who are obese but otherwise healthy may be at special risk of severe complications and death from the new H1N1 swine flu virus, US researchers report.
They described the cases of 10 patients at a Michigan hospital who were so ill they had to be put on ventilators. Three died. Nine of the 10 were obese, seven were severely obese, including two of the three who died.
The study, published in advance in the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease, also suggests doctors can safely double the usual dose of oseltamivir, Roche AG’s antiviral drug sold under the Tamiflu brand name.
“What this suggests is that there can be severe complications associated with this virus infection, especially in severely obese patients,” said CDC virus expert Dr Tim Uyeki.
“And five of these patients had … evidence of blood clots in the lungs. This has not been previously known to occur in patients with severe influenza virus infections,” Uyeki said in a telephone interview.
Dr Lena Napolitano of the University of Michigan Medical Center and colleagues studied the cases of 10 patients admitted to the university’s intensive care unit with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by infection with H1N1.
“Of the 10 patients, nine were obese (body mass index more than 30), including seven who were extremely obese (BMI more than 40),” they wrote in their report.
A fat-busting pill that can cut your flab by nearly a half in a week is being developed by scientists.
In tests the doses lowered the weight of mice by a quarter in seven days.
In the same period they lost 42% of their fat.
After a month the mice were up to 28.1% lighter and fat was down by 62.9%.
Researchers say more tests are needed before human trials start but the pill could be on the market within five years.
The drug is made by combining two natural hormones which control how the body converts fuel to energy.
Dr Richard Di Marchi, who led the team in Indiana in the US, said: “Here we present results that prove we can safely normalise body weight.”
Stressing out about work or bills can cause weight gain, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
After following 1,355 American men and women for nine years, researcher Jason Block, working at Harvard University for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that people with higher body mass indexes (BMI) gained weight when stressed.
The weight gain is caused by changed eating behaviours that people undertake when stressed.
“Today’s economy is stressing people out, and stress has been linked to a number of illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and increased risk for cancer. This study shows that stress is also linked to weight gain,” Block says.
According to another study, Psychosocial Stress and Change in Weight Among US Adults, only women gain weight when stressed about strained family relationships.