The Effect of Obesity on Outcomes among Injured Patients

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Abstract

Introduction:

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

Objectives:

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

Methods:

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.

Results:

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).

Conclusions:

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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