Increase in BMI linked to higher risk of surgical site infection

An increase in body mass index increases the likelihood of developing surgical site infections, according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers gathered 2012–2017 data from a Dutch national surveillance network on frequently performed surgical procedures across specialties. They divided 387,919 patients into five categories:

• Underweight (BMI is less than 18.5 kg/m2): 3,676 patients
• Normal weight (BMI, is between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2): 116,778
• Overweight (BMI is between 25 and 30 kg/m2): 154,339
• Obese (BMI is between 30 and 40 kg/m2): 104,288
• Morbidly obese (BMI is more than 40 kg/m2): 8,838

Researchers found that when BMI increased from normal to morbidly obese, there was an increase in the risk of developing surgical site infections in almost all surgery types.

"The results of our research provide evidence for the need of preventive programs targeting SSI in overweight and obese patients, as well as for the prevention of obesity in the general population," study authors concluded.

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