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J Forensic Sci. 2012 Sep;57(5):1336-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02140.x. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

The association between body mass index and pulmonary thromboembolism in an autopsy population.

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The University of Adelaide Medical School, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.


To evaluate the association between obesity and pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) in a forensic context, 160 autopsy cases of fatal PTE were compared with age- and gender-matched controls. The mean age of cases was 66 years (range 26-98 years; M/F 74:86). The mean body mass index (BMI) of cases with PTE was 30.88 (range 14.95-79.51), which was significantly higher than in the controls (mean BMI = 25.33; range 12.49-61.84) (p < 0.0001). Comparing the group with PTE with controls showed that five (3.1%) compared to 20 (12.5%) were underweight, 39 (24.4%) compared to 67 (41.88%) were of normal weight, 49 (30.63%) compared to 43 (26.88%) were overweight, 43 (26.88%) compared to 24 (15%) were obese, and 24 (15.0%) compared to six (3.75%) were morbidly obese. In each category of above-normal BMIs, there were significantly greater numbers in the groups with PTE: overweight (p < 0.01), obese (p < 0.001), and morbidly obese (p < 0.0001).

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