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Extremely fat swine flu sufferers may have a tendency to become severely ill, health officials in the U.S. and Europe said, after a report showed a “striking” prevalence of obesity among patients hospitalized in Michigan.
Nine of 10 patients with the pandemic flu strain admitted to an intensive care unit at Ann Arbor from late May to early June, were obese and seven were “extremely obese,” with a body mass index of at least 40, doctors said. Three of the 10 died and seven had no other known health problems.
Some patients are showing up at hospitals with viral pneumonia so severe they are suffocating. All 10 of the Michigan patients, ages 21 to 53, suffered acute respiratory distress and weren’t getting enough oxygen even when put on a conventional mechanical ventilator.
The patients, who represent “the most severely ill subset” of H1N1/A sufferers, were notable for several reasons, the CDC said. Nine were male, five developed dangerous clots in the lung and major organs became dysfunctional in nine of the patients. The body mass index of nine patients ranged from 34.2 to 58.9, according to the report. People with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered “overweight” and those higher than 30 are “obese.” -- Bloomberg
[Puts on workout clothes and hits the home gym.]