Obese Could Face Greater Flu Risk

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Obese people could be at greater risk for swine flu.

In a report issued by the CDC in July, obesity was noted to be a contributing factor in a H1N1 epidemic in Michigan. Nine of the ten patients studied who contracted the virus were obese.

Health officials believe they have conditions that make them more susceptible to the virus, like chronic heart, liver and lung problems.

But in the CDC study, only three of the ten patients had other health problems besides their obesity.

The Washington Examiner reports that a recent study found that mice who had been fattened up with extra food were much more likely to die from the flu than lean mice.

Obese patients have been shown by some research to have their immune systems suppressed. The immune system is affected by nutritional status.

Having a chronic imbalance between calorie intake and energy burned through exercise may influence the body's ability to fight off illness and disease.

*Original Broadcast Date: September 9, 2009.

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