Influence of obesity on mortality of drivers in severe motor vehicle crashes

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The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between obesity and mortality of drivers in severe motor vehicle crashes involving at least one fatality.

Basic Procedures

Fatalities were selected from 155 584 drivers included in the 2000-2005 Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Drivers were stratified by body mass index, confounders were adjusted for, and multiple logistic regression was used to determine the odds ratio (OR) of death in each body mass index class compared with normal weight.

Main Findings

The adjusted risk of death from lowest to highest, reported as the OR of death compared with normal weight with 95% confidence intervals, was as follows: (1) overweight (OR, 0.952; 0.911-0.995; P = .0293), (2) slightly obese (OR, 0.996; 0.966-1.026; P = .7758), (3) normal weight, (4) underweight (OR, 1.115; 1.035-1.201; P = .0043), (5) moderately obese (OR, 1.212; 1.128-1.302; P < .0001), and (6) morbidly obese (OR, 1.559; 1.402-1.734; P < .0001).

Principal Conclusions

There is an increased risk of death for moderately obese, morbidly obese, and underweight drivers and a decreased risk in overweight drivers.

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