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Keywords:

  • Body mass index;
  • influenza – human;
  • obesity

We conducted a retrospective cohort study to evaluate the impact of obesity on influenza disease severity. Individuals with obesity were more likely to have lower pulmonary disease manifestations [OR = 1·97 (95% CI 1·05, 3·69), P = 0·03] and to be admitted to an inpatient ward [OR = 2·93 (95% CI 1·50, 5·71), P = 0·002] when compared with non-obese individuals. Among admitted individuals, persons with obesity were more likely to require a lengthy hospital stay [OR = 3·86 (95% CI 1·03, 14·42), P = 0·045]. Five of the six deaths in study subjects occurred in persons with obesity.