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                                                   Obese Mice More Likely To Die Of Influenza Infection

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Obese Mice More Likely To Die Of Influenza Infection

Dr. John Roberts

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A study suggested that obese people may be more likely to die of influenza infection.

In the study, 35 mice were fed a high-fat, high sugar diet for five months making them 37 percent heavier than 35 mice fed a regular diet high in carbohydrates. The obese mice had a body fat percentage of 31 percent in comparison to 21 percent in the regular mice.

After influenza infection at five months, the obese mice had significantly less capability of coping with influenza infection. As a result, 40 percent of the obese mice died while only 4 percent regular mice died of influenza infection. Its believed that obesity impairs the immune response that is needed for controlling influenza infection.

Although the study was conducted on mice, "Numerous marked alterations seen in the mice's immune response suggest that the growing obese population is at increased risk for immune dysfunction during influenza infection, which may lead in humans, as it did in the mice, to increased mortality," Dr. Melinda A. Beck, the principal investigator, was quoted as saying in a news release by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The study was conducted by Dr. Meinda A Beck and Alexia Smith from UNC School of Medicine. The results were presented on April 2 at an American Society of Nutritional Sciences scientific meeting in San Diego.

About The Author

Dr. John Roberts is a freelance writer for Contact him at if you have any questions.

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