August 8, 2019

Effect of BMI on SSI risk

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

This study found a trend of increasing risk of surgical site infections (SSIs) for almost all surgery types when body mass index (BMI) increased from normal to morbidly obese.

Of 387,919 patients analyzed in the Dutch national surveillance network PREZIES, 1% were underweight, 30% had normal weight, 40% were overweight, 27% were obese, and 2% were morbidly obese.

The increase in SSIs was most profound in procedures with clean wounds, with relative risks for morbidly obese patients ranging up to 7.8 for deep SSIs after total hip procedures.

In chest and abdominal procedures, the impact was larger for superficial than deep SSIs.

The results provide evidence for the need of preventive programs targeting SSIs in overweight and obese patients, as well as for the prevention of obesity in the general population, the researchers say.

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