The association between obesity and dengue virus (DENV) infection in hospitalised patients

Victoria Phooi Khei Tan, Chin Fang Ngim, Erika Ziyan Lee, Amutha Ramadas, Lian Yih Pong, Joo Ing Ng, Sharifah Syed Hassan, Xuan Ye Ng, Amreeta Dhanoa

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Both obesity and DENV infections are growing public health concerns that have far-ranging socioeconomic effects, especially in developing countries. Despite the increasing prevalence of these conditions, there is a scarcity of data investigating the potential relationships between these two entities. Our study aims to examine the influence of obesity on various clinical and laboratory parameters amongst patients with DENV infections. A total of 335 hospitalized patients aged >12 years who were DENV non-structural protein 1 (NS1) antigen-positive were enrolled in this study. Clinical and laboratory variables were compared between patients with and without obesity. Multivariate analysis showed that the following admission clinical findings and laboratory results were independently associated with obesity; chills and rigors (AOR:2.653, 95% CI: 1.286–5.474), higher temperature (AOR:1.485, 95% CI: 1.080–2.042), higher systolic BP (AOR:1.057, 95% CI:1.037–1.078), raised haematocrit (AOR: 1.953, 95% CI: 1.010–3.778), elevated creatinine (AOR:3.504, 95% CI:1.351–9.008) and elevated ALT (AOR: 4.146, 95% CI:1.878–9.154). Obesity was found to be significantly associated with hospitalization >3 days (AOR: 1.990, 95% CI: 1.134–3.494) and the presence of increasing haematocrit with decreasing platelets (AOR: 2.134, 95% CI = 1.235–3.688). Serial assessment of laboratory data revealed that peak haematocrit was significantly higher and nadir platelets levels were significantly lower in obese patients. Both peak and admission levels of leukocyte counts, AST, ALT and creatinine were significantly higher in the obese group. Conversely, both admission and nadir albumin levels were lower for the obese group, although only nadir albumin levels achieved statistical significance. These findings support closer clinical monitoring of obese patients who present with DENV infections, as this patient cohort may possess an increased tendency towards developing more severe clinical manifestations of DENV infections as compared to non-obese patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200698
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2018

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