Researchers have warned that patients who are at the lower end of the body mass index (BMI) range are 40 percent more likely to die within the first month of surgery compared to overweight patients.
Researchers led by George Stukenborg of the University of Virginia analyzed data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database and found that patients with a BMI of lower than 23.1 had a 40 percent higher risk of dying within the first month after their surgery compared to patients who had a BMI of 26.3 to 29.6.
The researchers also found that while the 30-day mortality risk was the same among the moderately overweight to morbid obese, there were some other risks associated with obesity that could cause complications.
In surgeries such as temporary and permanent colostomies, wound debridement, colorectal resection, upper gastrointestinal procedures and therapeutic musculoskeletal procedures higher BMI was linked to a higher mortality rate as compared to laparoscopy, which was taken as a reference surgical procedure.
Speaking to Reuters, Stukenborg said, "Patients with low BMI are at higher risk of death 30 days after surgery. We found patients in the lowest quintile had a 40 per cent higher odds of death compared to the mid-range."