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Clin Chest Med. 2009 Sep;30(3):495-508, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2009.05.008.

Obesity and acute lung injury.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Center for Critical Care, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Acute lung injury (ALI) and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are common indications for ICU admission and mechanical ventilation. ALI/ARDS also consumes significant health care resources and is a common cause of death in ICU patients. Obesity produces changes in respiratory system physiology that could affect outcomes for ALI/ARDS patients and their response to treatment. Additionally, the biochemical alterations seen in obese patients, such as increased inflammation and altered metabolism, could affect the risk of developing ALI/ARDS in patients with another risk factor (eg, sepsis). The few studies that have examined the influence of obesity on the outcomes from ALI/ARDS are inconclusive. Furthermore, observed results could be biased by disparities in provided care.

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