The impact of obesity on seasonal influenza: a single-center, retrospective study conducted in Israel

Alaa Atamna, Ron Daskal, Tanya Babich, Gida Ayada, Haim Ben-Zvi, Avishay Elis, Jihad Bishara, Tomer Avni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Obesity is associated with an increased susceptibility to infections. Several studies have reported adverse clinical outcomes of influenza among obese individuals. Our aim was to examine the association between obesity and the clinical outcomes of hospitalized adult patients ill with seasonal influenza. Consecutive hospitalized adult patients between 10/2017 and 4/2018 with laboratory confirmed influenza A and B were divided into an obese group (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2) and controls. The primary outcome was a composite endpoint of 30-day all-cause mortality, vasopressor use, mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, and severe influenza complication (myocarditis and encephalitis). Secondary outcomes encompassed all the components of the primary outcome, 90-day all-cause mortality, occurrence of pneumonia, length of hospital stay, and 90-day readmission rates. The study comprised 512 hospitalized adults diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed influenza A (195/512) and B (317/512). Within this group, 17% (86/512) were classified obese; the remaining 83% (426/512) were controls. Results of the composite outcome (7/85, 8% vs. 45/422, 11%; p=0.5) and the crude 30-day all-cause mortality rate (5/86, 6% vs. 34/426, 8%, p=0.5) were similar between the two groups. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that obesity was not a significant risk factor for influenza adverse events (OR=1.3, CI 95% 0.3–3.3; p=0.5), whereas advanced age, chronic kidney disease, and hypoalbuminemia were significant risk factors (OR=1.03, OR=2.7, and OR=5.4, respectively). Obesity was not associated with influenza-related morbidity and mortality among the hospitalized adults during the 2017–2018 influenza season. Further studies researching different influenza seasons are essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1471-1476
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature.


  • BMI
  • Infection
  • Influenza
  • Mortality
  • Obesity


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