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Obesity and outcomes in trauma - a systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:October 26, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2022.10.026

      Abstract

      Background

      The physiological abnormalities relating to obesity and metabolic syndrome can contribute to worse outcomes following trauma especially in class 2 and 3 obesity. The aim of this systematic review was to determine whether patients with a higher class of obesity who suffer traumatic injury have a higher risk of worse outcomes including in-hospital mortality than normal-weight patients.

      Methods

      A systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, Web of Science and CINAHL was performed for studies that reported a comparison of in-hospital obesity-related outcomes against normal-weight individuals aged 15 years and older following trauma. Single or multiple injuries from either blunt and/or penetrating trauma were included. Burn-related injuries, isolated head injury and studies focusing on orthopaedic related perioperative complications were excluded.

      Results

      The search yielded 7405 articles; 26 were included in this systematic review. 945,511 patients had a BMI>30. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed for analysis of all four outcomes. Patients with class 3 obesity (BMI>40) have significantly higher odds of in-hospital mortality than normal-BMI individuals following blunt and penetrating trauma (OR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.39-2.19, p=<0.00001), significantly longer hospital LOS (SMD, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.21-0.25; p<0.00001) and significantly longer ICU LOS (SMD, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.12-0.26; p<0.0001). In contrast, studies that examined blunt and penetrating trauma and classified obesity with a threshold of BMI>30 found no significant difference in the odds of in-hospital mortality (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.86-1.02, p=0.13).

      Conclusions

      There is a higher risk of in-hospital mortality in patients living with class 3 obesity following trauma when compared with individuals with normal BMI. The management of patients with obesity is complex and trauma systems should develop specific weight related pathways to manage and anticipate the complications that arise in these patients.
      Systematic review registration number
      PROSPERO registration: CRD42021234482
      Level of Evidence: Level 3

      Keywords

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