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Burns. 1998 Dec;24(8):725-7.

Body habitus as a predictor of burn risk in children: do fat boys still get burned?

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US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston 78234, USA.


Previous research at this institute has demonstrated that heavy-for-age boys are more burn prone than their normal sized counterparts. As this study is now 26 years old, we reexamined the anthropomorphic indices of 372 children admitted to one burn center between January 1991 and July 1997 to determine if this trend was still evident. Male children were over-represented in the < or =5th and >95th percentiles for both height (p < 0.001, p < 0.05) and weight (p < 0.01, p < 0.001). Female children were over-represented in the < or =5th and > 95th percentiles for height (p < 0.01, p < 0.05). Twenty-eight percent of boys at or below the 5th percentile for weight were burned as a result of known or suspected intentional injury, compared to 5.9% of the entire pediatric burn population. (p < 0.0004). 'Fat boys' continue to be over-represented in the pediatric burn population. Additionally, in the more recent time period, boys at or below the 5th percentile for height or weight and girls= < 5th percentile or >95th percentile for height are also over-represented. The increased frequency of burn injury in small-for-age children may reflect an increased risk of burn injury secondary to neglect or nonaccidental trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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