, Volume 471, Issue 4, pp 1199-1207
Date: 05 Oct 2012

Childhood Obesity Is Associated With Increased Risk of Most Lower Extremity Fractures

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Abstract

Background

A number of studies have found an increased risk of lower extremity injuries in obese patients. Most studies, however, are unable to provide stable population-based estimates based on the degree of obesity and few assess the risk pertaining to more detailed fracture location in the lower extremities.

Questions/purposes

We therefore investigated the relationship between obesity and lower extremity fractures in different age and fracture locations in a stable population.

Methods

This is a population-based, cross-sectional study from the electronic medical records of 913,178 patients aged 2 to 19 years. The body mass index (BMI) for each patient in the cohort was used to stratify patients into five weight classes (underweight, normal weight, overweight, moderate obesity, and extreme obesity) based on BMI for age. Records were assessed for the occurrence of lower extremity fractures for each cohort member. The associations among the five weight classes and specific lower extremity fractures were estimated using multiple logistic regression models and expressed with odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using multivariate analysis to adjust for patient demographic variables.

Results

Overweight, moderately obese, and extremely obese patients all had an increased OR of fractures of the foot (OR, 1.14, 1.23, and 1.42, respectively, with 95% CI, 1.04–1.24, 1.12–1.35, and 1.26–1.61, respectively) along with the ankle, knee, and leg (OR, 1.27, 1.28, and 1.51, respectively, with 95% CI, 1.16–1.39, 1.15–1.42, and 1.33–1.72, respectively). The association was strongest in the 6- to 11-year-old age group. We found no association between increasing BMI and increased risk of fractures of the femur and hip.

Conclusions

Increasing BMI is associated with increased odds of foot, ankle, leg, and knee fractures in children.

Level of Evidence

Level III, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Each author certifies that he or she, or a member of his or her immediate family, has no funding or commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.