A new study finds obese patients are more lilkely to survive certain conditions and illnesses when hospitalized. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Obese patients less likely to die from infection after hospitalization, study finds

Obesity has been linked to several health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. However, the extra fat could have some benefits, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from the European Association for the Study of Obesity recently conducted a trial to explore the survival rates of those admitted to hospitals for infections. 

To do so, they analyzed more than 35,000 patients in Denmark hospitalized for infections between 2011 and 2015. They then followed the subjects 90 days after their discharge, making note of their weight.

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After analyzing the results, they found that obese individuals were 40 percent less likely to die from an infection compared to underweight people, and they were 50 percent less likely compared to normal weight people. 

“Overweight and obesity were associated with substantially reduced 90 day mortality following incident hospital admission for infection,” the researchers wrote. 

They also noted that underweight people were twice as likely to die from infection compared to those at a normal weight. However, they said recent weight loss may have been due to an underlying disease and noted deaths did not increase for underweight patients who had not recently lost weight.

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The findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Austria, and three other studies discovered similar results. 

Taiwanese researchers found that obese people hospitalized for pneumonia were 20 to 30 percent less likely to die from the illness.

The same team said hospitalized overweight or obese patients were also more than 20 percent less likely to die from sepsis, a blood infection.

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Lastly, Dutch researchers revealed that seriously ill patients, who were obese, were less likely to undergo rapid muscle wasting.