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Chest. 2007 Feb;131(2):342-8.

The association between body mass index and clinical outcomes in acute lung injury.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, Mailbox 359762, 325 Ninth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.



The association between body mass index (BMI) and outcomes in critically ill patients is unclear. Our objective was to determine the association between BMI and outcomes in a population-based cohort of patients with acute lung injury (ALI).


In a prospective cohort study of all ICU patients in King County, Washington, with ALI in 1 year (1999 to 2000), 825 patients had a BMI recorded. Using multivariate analysis, patients in the abnormal BMI groups were compared to normal patients in the following areas: mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS), ICU LOS, duration of mechanical ventilation, and discharge disposition.


There was no mortality difference in any of the abnormal BMI groups compared to normal-weight patients. Severely obese patients had longer hospital LOS than normal-weight patients (mean increase, 10.5 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.8 to 16.2 days; p < 0.001); this was accentuated when analysis was restricted to survivors (mean increase, 14.3 days; 95% CI, 7.1 to 21.6 days; p < 0.001). ICU LOS and duration of mechanical ventilation were also longer in the severely obese group when analysis was restricted to survivors (mean increase, 5.6 days; 95% CI, 1.3 to 9.8 days; p = 0.01; and mean increase, 4.1 days; 95% CI, 0.4 to 7.7 days, respectively; p = 0.03). Severely obese patients were more likely to be discharged to a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility than to home.


BMI is not associated with mortality in patients with ALI, but severe obesity is associated with increased morbidity and resource utilization in the hospital and after discharge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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