2792. Association of Body Mass Index with Rates of Hospitalization in Patients with Respiratory Viral Infections—Puerto Rico, 2012–2018
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2792. Association of Body Mass Index with Rates of Hospitalization in Patients with Respiratory Viral Infections—Puerto Rico, 2012–2018

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  • Alternative Title:
    Open Forum Infect Dis
  • Description:

    Obesity is a serious public health problem in Puerto Rico, where 31% of the population is obese. Multiple studies have suggested that adults with influenza who are underweight, overweight, or obese have increased risk of hospitalization compared with those of normal weight. We sought to determine whether risk of hospitalization among patients infected with influenza or other respiratory viruses differs by BMI among patients in Puerto Rico.


    We analyzed data from patients enrolled in the Sentinel Enhanced Dengue Surveillance System (SEDSS), a prospective study of patients with acute febrile illness (AFI), from May 2012 to September 2018. We evaluated those older than 24 months, who had height, weight, and clinical disposition recorded, and tested positive by RT–PCR for infection with influenza A (n = 1253), influenza B (n = 844), adenovirus (n = 435), respiratory syncytial virus (n = 289), parainfluenza virus (n = 361), metapneumovirus (n = 247), or coronavirus (n = 15). BMI categories were determined using standard cutoffs in adults and BMI-for-age percentiles for children and adolescents. Risk of hospitalization by BMI category was calculated using multivariate Poisson regression.


    Among the 3,388 patients included, 675 (20%) were overweight, 926 (27%) were obese, 405 (12%) were underweight, and 1382 (41%) were normal weight. Median age was 13.4 (range: 2–100 years), and 50% were male. Risk of hospitalization was not significantly different in children and adult patients infected with a respiratory virus who were overweight relative to those that had normal BMI; however, once hospitalized, obese individuals of any age had a mean length of hospital stay 1.7 days longer than normal weight persons (95% CI: 0.27–3.17 days). Among adult patients, underweight patients were nearly 3 times more likely to be hospitalized compared with normal weight patients (relative risk 2.8, 95% CI: 1.4–5.9). Underweight children were not at increased risk of hospitalization.


    Among patients infected with a respiratory virus, risk of hospitalization was higher among underweight adult patients, and obese patients had a longer mean length of stay once hospitalized. Body mass index should be considered when evaluating risk and managing these patients.


    All authors: No reported disclosures.

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