Childhood obesity: a risk factor for injuries observed at a level-1 trauma center

Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.
Journal of Pediatric Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.39). 08/2009; 44(8):1601-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2008.11.060
Source: PubMed


Obesity is an independent risk factor in trauma-related morbidity in adults. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of obesity in the pediatric trauma population.
All patients (6-20 years) between January 2004 and July 2007 were retrospectively reviewed and defined as non-obese (body mass index [BMI] <95th percentile for age) or obese (BMI > or =95th percentile for age). Groups were compared for differences in demographics, initial vital signs, mechanisms of injury, length of stay, intensive care unit stay, ventilator days, Injury Severity Score, operative procedures, and clinical outcomes.
Of 1314 patients analyzed, there were 1020 (77%) nonobese patients (mean BMI = 18.8 kg/m(2)) and 294 (23%) obese patients (mean BMI = 29.7 kg/m(2)). There was no significant difference in sex, heart rate, length of stay, intensive care unit days, ventilator days, Injury Severity Score, and mortality between the groups. The obese children were significantly younger than the nonobese children (10.9 +/- 3.3 vs 11.5 +/- 3.5 years; P = .008) and had a higher systolic blood pressure during initial evaluation (128 +/- 17 vs 124 +/- 16 mm Hg, P < .001). In addition, the obese group had a higher incidence of extremity fractures (55% vs 40%; P < .001) and orthopedic surgical intervention (42% vs 30%; P < .001) but a lower incidence of closed head injury (12% vs 18%; P = .013) and intraabdominal injuries (6% vs 11%; P = .023). Evaluation of complications showed a higher incidence of decubitus ulcers (P = .043) and deep vein thrombosis (P = .008) in the obese group.
In pediatric trauma patients, obesity may be a risk factor for sustaining an extremity fracture requiring operative intervention and having a higher risk for certain complications (ie, deep venous thrombosis [DVT] and decubitus ulcers) despite having a lower incidence of intracranial and intraabdominal injuries. Results are similar to reports examining the effect(s) of obesity on the adult population.

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    • "Since several studies focused on obesity associated with low-grade chronic inflammation, there is an increasing amount of reports describing detrimental effects of excessive body fat on bone [13–15]. There is a higher incidence of clinical fractures in obese postmenopausal women [16] and in overweight adolescents [17–19]. Several animal studies supported this negative effect on bone strength [20, 21], bone mineral density [22], and bone formation [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A correlation between obesity and bone metabolism is strongly assumed because adipocytes and osteoblasts originate from the same precursor cells and their differentiation is conversely regulated by the same factors. It is controversially discussed if obesity protects bone or leads to loss of bone mass. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of diet-induced mild obesity (11% increased body weight compared to control) on bone microstructure in mice. Four-week-old male C57BL/6J mice received a high-fat diet (HFD, 60% kcal from fat) and were analyzed by means of dual X-ray absorptiometry, histological methods, real-time RT-PCR, and transmission electron microscopy in comparison to control animals (10% kcal from fat). The cancellous bone mass, collagen 1 α 1 expression, amount of osteoid, and cohesion of cells via cell-to-cell contacts decreased in HFD mice whereas the bone mineral density and the amount of osteoblasts and osteoclasts were not modified. The amount of apoptotic osteocytes was increased in HFD mice in comparison to controls. We conclude that moderately increased body weight does not protect bone architecture from age-dependent degeneration. By contrast, bone microstructure is negatively affected and reduced maintenance of cell-cell contacts may be one of the underlying mechanisms.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · International Journal of Endocrinology
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    • "While obesity in the adult population has been found to be an independent risk factor of trauma-related morbidity, but not of fractures [5], fractures have been enlisted among orthopaedics complaints of childhood obesity [6,7,18]. In pediatric trauma patients, obese children had a higher incidence of extremity fractures and also a higher risk for certain complications [8]. The reasons for increased numbers of fractures in the obese adolescent population are variably questioned. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Children's fractures have been enlisted among orthopaedics complaints of childhood obesity. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours may contribute to increased risk. This study described the prevalence of overweight/obesity in children and adolescents reporting a recent fracture in relation to gender, dynamic of trauma, and site of fracture. Methods Four-hundred-forty-nine children and adolescents with fracture and 130 fracture-free controls were recruited from a large children’s hospital. The interaction between overweight and gender, dynamic of trauma, site of fracture was explored. Sports participation, television viewing, and calcium intake were also investigated. Results Overweight/obesity rate was increased in girls with fracture either at the upper or the lower limb (p= 0.004), while it was increased only in boys with fracture at the lower limb (p <0.02). Overweight/obesity rate did not differ between groups with low or moderate trauma. TV viewing ≥ 2 hrs was more frequent in children with fractures than controls (61.5% vs 34.5%, p =0.015) in the overweight/obese group. Conclusions The increased prevalence of overweight/obesity in children with fractures is related to gender and site of fracture. Higher levels of sedentary behaviours characterize overweight children reporting fractures.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · BMC Pediatrics
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    • "This weight/bone mass imbalance also places high levels of stress on growing bones and joints that may result in joint damage and may contribute to osteoarthritis in later years. [77] The occurrence of more severe fractures and bone disorders lead to the increased requirement of complex surgeries and joint replacements, especially in the setting of pediatric trauma, thus amplifying the physical and financial load of the disease in this population. [78] "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2012
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