World / US and Canada

Canadian study supports 'obesity paradox'

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-12 14:33

VANCOUVER - Canadian researchers have found that among patients admitted to hospital with pneumonia, those who were obese had a higher likelihood of surviving than who were of normal weight.

Although obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, infections like pneumonia, and death, the study supports "obesity paradox": In some circumstances being obese may be better for one's health.

In the study, researchers from University of Alberta examined the records of nearly 1,000 patients with pneumonia who were admitted to six hospitals in the Canadian city of Edmonton.

The researchers found that mortality was 10 percent for those who were of normal weight and 4 percent for those who were obese, which translated into a 54-percent reduction in mortality associated with being obese.

Sharry Kahlon, who led the study, said previous studies had demonstrated the obesity paradox in relation to chronic diseases, but this was one of only a handful of studies to demonstrate the link with acute medical conditions.

She added that obese patients in the study may have had better survival rates because they had more nutritional reserves, but the mechanisms still needed to be better studied.

The findings were published recently in peer-reviewed journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

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