2. Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Cologne, Germany.
3. Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital of Brno, Czech Republic.
4. University Hospital of Orthopedic Surgery, Inselspital Bern, Switzerland.
5. Former Head of the Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland.
Background: Obesity is a growing problem in industrial nations. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the body mass index (BMI) and the pattern of injury after polytrauma.
Methods: This retrospective study included 651 patients with an injury severity score (ISS) ≥16 and aged ≥16 years who were subdivided into three groups: BMI < 25 kg/m2, BMI 25–30 kg/m2, and BMI > 30 kg/m2. The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) was used to quantify the injuries in the different anatomical regions. The Murray score was assessed at admission and at its maximum during hospitalization to evaluate pulmonary problems. Data are presented as means ± standard errors of the means. One way analysis of variance, χ2 test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used for the analyses and the significance level was set at p < 0.05.
Results: The AIS of the thorax was 3.2 ± 0.1 in the BMI < 25 kg/m2 group, 3.3 ± 0.1 in the BMI 25–30 kg/m2 group, and 2.8 ± 0.2 in the BMI > 30 kg/m2 group; p < 0.05. The Murray score at admission increased significantly with increasing BMI (0.8 ± 0.8 for BMI < 25 kg/m2, 0.9 ± 0.9 for BMI 25–30 kg/m2, and 1.0 ± 0.8 for BMI > 30 kg/m2; p < 0.05) as was the maximum Murray score during hospitalization (1.2 ± 0.9 for BMI < 25 kg/m2, 1.6 ± 1.0 for BMI 25–30 kg/m2, and 1.5 ± 0.9 for BMI > 30 kg/m2; p < 0.001). The number of ventilator days was also elevated significantly with increasing BMI (5.9 ± 0.4 for BMI < 25 kg/m2, 7.7 ± 0.8 for BMI 25–30 kg/m2, and 7.9 ± 1.6 for BMI > 30 kg/m2; p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Overweight and obesity lead to a higher incidence of thoracic trauma in a polytrauma situation and may additionally handicap ventilation in an obstructive manner.
Keywords: Body mass index, polytrauma, abbreviated injury scale, murray score, SOFA score