Obesity May Play a Role in Influenza Transmission

Obesity is associated with an increase in the duration of influenza A shedding in adults, according to a recently published study  funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) [JAMA. 2018;320(12):1230. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.13078].

Their findings add to existing evidence linking obesity , rates of which are increasing everywhere, to infectious diseases.  The authors postulate that the chronic inflammatory state which accompanies obesity may be the underlying cause.

As we are well aware of the secretion of inflammatory cytokines from the visceral or “belly” fat which accompanies Obesity and causes metabolic syndrome, we can now add one more adverse consequence to the output of this noxious hormone factory,  increased susceptibility to common infections. This is but one more addition to the lengthening list of Obesity’s economic costs.