Flu more deadly for new moms: study

Hamilton, Ontario – The risk of dying from influenza may be higher for new moms, according to a study from McMaster University.

Researchers reviewed 239 influenza studies conducted between 1918 and 2011 and found women who had given birth in the previous four weeks had higher odds of having severe outcomes from influenza. In addition, they found traditional risk factors, such as pregnancy or being part of a certain ethnic group, were not linked to a higher risk of complications from the flu.

Obesity also appeared to increase the chance of death from seasonal and pandemic flu, but researchers said it was unclear whether obesity was a risk factor by itself or when grouped with other health conditions.

The study was published online Aug. 23 in the journal BMJ.