A retrospective review of over 1000 injured patients admitted to a level I trauma center presented at the recent Surgical Forum of the American College of Surgeons demonstrated that an elevated body mass index (BMI) was associated with a significant increase in the risk of hospital acquired infections. This risk increased steadily as BMI increased. The authors from the University of Toledo and Oakwood Medical Center in Michigan speculated that the chronic inflammatory state found in obese patients was behind the marked increase in risk of infections. — 4.7X in obese patients and 6X morbidly obese patients.
Dr. Blackshear’s Comments:
This study is yet another which confirms that obesity is a significant risk factor for complications of all sort in hospitalized patients. 30% of the patients in this study were obese as defined by BMI. Our own experience indicates that body fat percentage
(BF %) is an even more accurate indicator of obesity. Re-analyzing the data using BF% might produce an even more striking risk.