The effects of obesity in critical illness

Malissa Renee Cornett, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Obesity continues to cripple the United States in terms of increasing health care expenditures and its rising rate of prevalence in epidemic proportions. The comorbidities associated with obesity have continued to represent some of the most deadly chronic health diseases. The most vulnerable subpopulation, the critically ill, suffers from not only the comorbid conditions but also the complications encountered within their specialized care. Taking into account the rising prevalence rates of obesity and critical care patients, it has come to the attention of many researchers to measure the trends associated with these two health conditions. Hospital mortality was found to be lower in higher BMI groups whereas there was no difference between BMI groups for ICU mortality. Length of stay and mechanical ventilation were both higher for obese rather than non-obese patients. The most prevalent disease states among the obese critically injured was cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. In conclusion, obesity is not independently associated with increased ICU mortality, but the comorbidities linked to obesity prove a greater threat to vitality.

Subject Area

Medicine|Public health

Recommended Citation

Cornett, Malissa Renee, "The effects of obesity in critical illness" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1474791.