BMI Predicts 30-Day Post-Surgery Mortality Risk

BMI of less than 23.1 tied to the highest 30-day mortality risk, irrespective of surgery type

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Body mass index (BMI) is a significant predictor of 30-day mortality after surgical procedures, irrespective of the type of surgery, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the Archives of Surgery.

Florence E. Turrentine, Ph.D., R.N., from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues assessed the correlation between BMI and the 30-day mortality risk for patients who underwent 189,533 general and vascular surgical procedures. The statistical significance of correlations was assessed after adjusting for patient-level differences in overall mortality risk and principal operating procedures. The correlation between BMI and primary procedure was assessed in a separate analysis. The relative difference in mortality was assessed by BMI quintiles, with reference to the middle BMI quintile.

The investigators identified 3,245 deaths within 30 days of surgery (1.7 percent). The risk of death was significantly increased in patients with a BMI of less than 23.1 kg/m², with 40 percent increased odds of death compared with patients in the middle range for BMI (26.3 to <29.7 kg/m²). The type of primary procedure determined important differences in the correlation between BMI and mortality risk.

"Body mass index is a significant predictor of mortality within 30 days of surgery," the authors write.

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