The Effect of Obesity on Outcomes among Injured Patients

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The potential consequences of obesity in trauma patients are significant, yet incompletely defined by previous studies.


To evaluate the effect of obesity on morbidity and mortality among injured patients.


Medical records of all trauma patients evaluated at an American College of Surgeons verified Level I trauma center over a 1-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Morbidity and mortality were assessed after patients were stratified according to body mass index (BMI=kilograms/meters2) and injury severity score.


The mortality of patients with a BMI ≥35 (obese patients) was 10.7% versus 4.1% for patients with a BMI<35 (lean patients, p = 0.003). Nearly 27% of obese patients versus 17.6% of lean patients experienced one or more complications while in the hospital (p = 0.02).


Obese patients are significantly more likely than lean patients to experience complications and death after a traumatic event. This effect is enhanced with higher levels of injury.

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