Are You at Higher Risk for the Flu?

Yes, if you are insulin resistant and/or overweight. So says the JAMA November 4th2009 (“Factors Associated with Death or Hospitalization Due to Pandemic 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) Infection in California,” JAMA 2009;302:1896).

But, this is nothing new. Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1931 by demonstrating that our immune system is less than optimal when our blood sugar levels are elevated, which is the case in some insulin resistance and obese people.

Read my other blogs on the flu.

While most patients are not going to change their diets to decrease their risk of doing poorly with the flu, I would think that some may listen, given the fear that drives them to stand for hours outside some clinic to get the vaccine. I say we publicize these ideas and let people decide.

The bottom line, as always: “it is not the bug, it’s the terrain.”

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