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Obesity Reduces the Risk of Pressure Ulcers in Elderly Hospitalized Patients

Obesity Reduces the Risk of Pressure Ulcers in Elderly Hospitalized Patients

A University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study found that overweight, elderly hospitalized patients developed fewer pressure ulcers (PU) than those who were under or at optimal weight.  The study involved over 3,000 patients aged 65 or more (average – 77 years old), and the results are as follows:

Weight ClassificationBMIOdds of PURelative Difference
Underweight< 18.51.8+ 80%
Optimal Weight18.5 – 24.91.0
Overweight25 – 29.90.9-10%
Obese30 – 39.90.7-30%
Severely Obese> 400.1-90%

The study realizes that the increasing obesity rates are likely responsible for negative health outcomes like diabetes, hypertension, and sleep disorders, but at least in this study group, obesity in the elderly population protected against the development of pressure ulcers.

Journal of Gerontology: MEDICAL SCIENCES 2007, Vol. 62A, No. 11, 1310–1312 

biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/62/11/1310.full.pdf+html