Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Survival Among Critically Ill Patients With Cirrhosis

Chansong Choi, Ryan J. Lennon, Dae Hee Choi, Laura Piccolo Serafim, Alina M. Allen, Patrick S. Kamath, Vijay H. Shah, Alice Gallo de Moraes, Douglas A. Simonetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Obesity paradox is a phenomenon in which obesity increases the risk of obesity-related chronic diseases but paradoxically is associated with improved survival among obese patients with these diagnoses. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the obesity paradox among critically ill patients with cirrhosis admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Methods: A retrospective cohort of 1,143 consecutive patients with cirrhosis admitted to the ICU between January of 2006 and December of 2015 was analyzed. Primary outcome of interest was in-hospital mortality with secondary end points including ICU and short-term mortality at 30 days post ICU admission. Results: Logistic regression with generalized additive models was used, controlling for clinically relevant and statistically significant factors to determine the adjusted relationship between body mass index (BMI) and ICU, post-ICU in-hospital, and 30 day mortality following ICU discharge. ICU and hospital length of stay was similar across all BMI classes. Adjusted ICU mortality was also similar when stratified by BMI. However, a significant reduction in post-ICU hospital mortality was observed in class I and II obese patients with cirrhosis (BMI 30-39.9 kg/m2) compared to normal BMI (OR = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.83; P = 0.014). Similarly, overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2) and class I and II obese patients with cirrhosis had significantly lower 30-day mortality following ICU discharge (OR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.87; P = 0.014; OR = 0.50, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.86; P = 0.012, respectively) compared to those with normal BMI. Conclusion: The signal of obesity paradox is suggested among critically ill patients with cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-824
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • ICU outcomes
  • hospital mortality
  • intensive care unit
  • mortality
  • obesity paradox
  • severity of illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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