If you’re heavier than average you might want to make getting a flu shot a priority this winter.
A large Australian study has found the overweight and obese are at much greater risk of getting a severe bout of the flu that will land them in hospital.
Researchers at the University of New South Wales say the obese appear to be just as vulnerable to the seasonal flu as those with cardiovascular disease and diabetes and must get their flu shot.
"We essentially found that people who were considered either overweight or obese had a higher risk of having a laboratory confirmed flu diagnosis," said lead researcher Associate Professor Better Liu, a medical epidemiologist at UNSW.
The study also found the more overweight the person the greater their risk of flu and flu-related hospitalisation.
"The very obese people (those with a BMI between 40 to 50) had the highest risk. The risk in the very obese was about 70 per cent higher than people of a healthy weight," said Professor Liu.
The findings are published in the International Journal of Obesity.