Overweight patients hospitalized with pneumonia more apt to survive

November 5, 2012

Medical researchers at the University of Alberta studied the records of nearly 1000 patients who were admitted to hospital with pneumonia and noted those who were obese were more apt to survive compared to those who were of normal weight.

For their research study, the team examined the records of 907 patients with who were admitted to six Edmonton hospitals and also had their recorded. Two-thirds of the patients had severe pneumonia and 79 died in hospital. Of those who died, 12 were under weight, 36 were normal weight, 21 were overweight and 10 were obese. Compared to those who were normal weight, obese patients had lower in- due to pneumonia, says the study, which was led by Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher Sharry Kahlon, who works in the Department of Medicine and is a resident in internal medicine. Mortality was 10 per cent for those who were and 4 per cent for those who were obese. This translates into a 54 per cent reduction in mortality associated with being obese. The results of the study were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

Kahlon says the research supports the ' paradox' – that in some circumstances being obese may be better for your health, even though obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, death and catching infections like pneumonia.

"The thinking usually is obesity equals bad and this research demonstrated something different. It shows that perhaps we're not looking at obesity in the right way. Is all fat bad? Is all fat equal? For acute illnesses, maybe we're not looking at the right indicators for body mass index and obesity."

Kahlon says previous studies have demonstrated the 'obesity paradox' in relation to chronic diseases, but this is one of a handful of studies to demonstrate the link with acute medical conditions. In the study, she notes obese patients may have had better survival rates because they had more nutritional reserves.

"It might be a misregulation of the inflammatory system that allows these individuals to do better," she says. "These mechanisms still need to be better studied."

She noted physicians may need to adjust prescriptions or care for hospitalized with pneumonia – to better meet their medical needs.

Former Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry Dean Tom Marrie was part of the research team and found the patients to take part in the study.

Explore further: 'Obesity paradox': Extra weight linked to better outcomes for septic shock, asthma exacerbation

Related Stories

'Obesity paradox': Extra weight linked to better outcomes for septic shock, asthma exacerbation

October 22, 2012
Although obesity is linked to a variety of health risks, new research indicates that obese patients may have an advantage over nonobese patients in certain health situations, including septic shock and acute asthma exacerbation.

Physician's weight may influence obesity diagnosis and care

January 26, 2012
A patient's body mass index (BMI) may not be the only factor at play when a physician diagnoses a patient as obese. According to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the diagnosis ...

Above-normal weight alone does not increase the short-term risk of death: study

July 6, 2012
An evaluation of national data by UC Davis researchers has found that extra weight is not necessarily linked with a higher risk of death.

Obesity, overweight at diagnosis ups B-cell lymphoma prognosis

May 30, 2012
(HealthDay) -- For U.S. veterans with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), being overweight or obese at time of diagnosis correlates with improved survival, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Co-infection with two common gut pathogens worsens malnutrition in mice

July 27, 2017
Two gut pathogens commonly found in malnourished children combine to worsen malnutrition and impair growth in laboratory mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Finish your antibiotics course? Maybe not, experts say

July 27, 2017
British disease experts on Thursday suggested doing away with the "incorrect" advice to always finish a course of antibiotics, saying the approach was fuelling the spread of drug resistance.

Phase 3 trial confirms superiority of tocilizumab to steroids for giant cell arteritis

July 26, 2017
A phase 3 clinical trial has confirmed that regular treatment with tocilizumab, an inhibitor of interleukin-6, successfully reduced both symptoms of and the need for high-dose steroid treatment for giant cell arteritis, the ...

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

saraet
not rated yet Nov 07, 2012
a place for you to find information, friendship, hope, support, and romance. HPV information herpes dating herpes personals HSV HIV/AIDS STD medical treatments and information. No matter what kind of STDs you have, or just curious to see what's on here can register profile and conduct profile search for free.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.