PLoS One. 2021 May 19;16(5):e0251887. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0251887. eCollection 2021.
INTRODUCTION: Obesity is a rapidly growing global health concern with considerable negative impact on life-time expectancy. It has yet not been clarified if and how obesity impacts outcomes of severe bacterial infections. The aim of this study was to determine how body mass index impacts outcome of severe bacterial infections in a well-defined population-based cohort.
METHODS: This study is based on a cohort of 2196 patients included in a Swedish prospective, population-based, consecutive observational study of the incidence of community-onset severe sepsis and septic shock in adults. All patients with weight and height documented in the medical records on admission were included.
RESULTS: The case fatality rate (CFR) was negatively correlating with increasing BMI. Outcomes included 28-day CFR (p-value = 0.002), hospital CFR (p-value = 0.039) and 1-year CFR (p-value<0.001). When BMI was applied as continuous variable in a multiple logistic regression together with other possible covariates, we still could discern that BMI was associated with decreasing 28-day CFR (OR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.88-0.98, p-value = 0.009) and 1-year CFR (OR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.91-0.97, p-value<0.001).
CONCLUSION: The hypothesis and paradox of obesity being associated with higher survival rates in severe bacterial infections was confirmed in this prospective, population-based observational study.