Obese individuals more prone to blood poisoning

October 4, 2017, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

High weight, little physical activity and smoking increase our vulnerability for severe bloodstream infections. They also increase mortality.

Blood poisoning, or , is a serious infection with a mortality rate of over 20 per cent. It is a fairly common disease that affects three to four out of every thousand people in Norway annually, and kills more than six million people worldwide every year.

Researchers at the Mid-Norway Centre for Sepsis Research have taken a closer look at the relationship between lifestyle, obesity and the risk of being affected both by sepsis and the risk of death. The centre comprises the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), St. Olavs Hospital, Nord-Trøndelag Hospital Trust and Yale University in the US.

They have examined nearly 2,000 North-Trøndelag residents with who participated in the longitudinal Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT Study).

Obesity plays a major role

"We're finding that obesity is an important risk factor for sepsis," says doctor Julie Paulsen, an NTNU PhD candidate who is affiliated with the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.

"Slightly overweight with a BMI between 30 and 35 increased their risk by 30 per cent, as compared with people of normal . People with a BMI over 40 had three times as high a risk as those of normal weight," says Paulsen.

"People with a BMI over 35 who smoke and are less physically active had almost five times the risk of serious blood poisoning as physically active normal-weight non-smokers," she said.

In smokers, the risk was increased by 50 per cent as compared to never-smokers, and those who are physically inactive have almost twice as high a risk as people who exercise hard at least one hour a week.

At the same time, research shows increased mortality among individuals who are obese compared with those who are normal weight.

Slightly overweight individuals increase their risk by 35 per cent, while people with a BMI over 40 have three times the risk of death as individuals.

This study shows that lifestyle-related measures can reduce the incidence of serious infections.

The research was based on 64,000 participants from the HUNT study.

Explore further: Central obesity ups mortality across BMI range

More information: Julie Paulsen et al. Associations of obesity and lifestyle with the risk and mortality of bloodstream infection in a general population: a 15-year follow-up of 64 027 individuals in the HUNT Study, International Journal of Epidemiology (2017). DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyx091

Related Stories

Central obesity ups mortality across BMI range

April 25, 2017
(HealthDay)—Central obesity is associated with increased risk of mortality even in normal-weight individuals, according to a study published online April 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Overweight youths at greater risk for heart failure

June 29, 2016
It comes down to starting healthy habits early. Fortunately, it's never too late to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and losing weight is great for reducing your risk of heart attack. But you can still be at a higher risk for ...

'Fat but fit' are at increased risk of heart disease

August 14, 2017
Carrying extra weight could raise your risk of heart attack by more than a quarter, even if you are otherwise healthy.

Teenage weight gain linked to increased stroke risk as an adult

June 28, 2017
Kids who become overweight during their teenage years may be more likely to develop a stroke decades later than kids who did not become overweight during those years, according to a study published in the June 28, 2017, online ...

Is metabolically healthy obesity a worthwhile initial medical goal?

September 15, 2017
Worldwide, nearly one in three individuals is obese. As a consequence, increasing numbers of people suffer from diseases associated with morbid overweight, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. ...

Study shows so-called 'healthy obesity' is harmful to cardiovascular health

September 11, 2017
Clinicians are being warned not to ignore the increased cardiovascular health risks of those who are classed as either 'healthy obese' or deemed to be 'normal weight' but have metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes.

Recommended for you

PFASs, chemicals commonly found in environment, may interfere with body weight regulation

February 13, 2018
A class of chemicals used in many industrial and consumer products was linked with greater weight gain after dieting, particularly among women, according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The chemicals—perfluoroalkyl ...

Study shows benefits of exercise can outweigh health effects of severe obesity

February 12, 2018
Can you be fit and healthy even if you're overweight? That's the question researchers at York University's Faculty of Health set out to answer in a new study that shows physical activity may be equally and perhaps even more ...

Obesity drives US health care costs up by 29 percent, varies by state

February 7, 2018
The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the U.S., but there has been little information about the economic impact of this trend for individual states.

Why diets backfire: A year or more after weight loss, the desire to eat grows stronger

February 2, 2018
Losing weight is, for most people, the easy part. The bigger challenge is trying to keep it off for more than a year.

Scientists identify weight loss ripple effect

February 1, 2018
People who make an effort to lose weight aren't just helping themselves, they may be helping others too.

To improve self-control, call weight loss what it is: Difficult

January 29, 2018
To reach your New Year's fitness goals, a bit of reverse psychology might be in order. Telling people that weight loss is extremely challenging—rather than imparting a "You can do it!" mantra—motivated them to shed more ...

0 comments

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.