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Monday, September 2, 2013

Canadian study identifies new high-risk flu groups

Via The Globe and Mail, excerpt :

As summer gives way to fall, health-care professionals will urge every Canadian over six months old to get a flu shot. They will emphasize vaccinating certain populations, such as children, pregnant women and First Nations people, whom they consider more susceptible to complications from influenza. 

Indeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently released its annual warning, hitting all the same cautionary notes about those vulnerable groups.

But a new Canadian study, sponsored by the World Health Organization, suggests that some populations thought to be more prone to severe illness stemming from the flu are anything but, and that other groups are at greater risk.
Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., examined 239 observational studies conducted between 1918 and 2011 and found that children under five years old, pregnant women and native peoples have historically not suffered excessive complications from the flu. Conversely, new mothers and obese people – two populations not typically regarded as high-risk groups – were found to be more prone to suffering severe outcomes."

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