Clinical outcomes among morbidly obese patients hospitalized with diabetic foot complications

C. M. Harris, Marwan Samir Abougergi, S. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study is to investigate effects of morbid obesity on patients hospitalized with diabetic foot ulcers and infections (DFU/Is). This retrospective cohort study of hospitalized adults investigated patients with a principal diagnosis of DFU/Is, and compared outcomes based on weight. The primary outcome was lower limb amputations. Secondary outcomes included in-hospital mortality, morbidity (sepsis and discharge disposition), resource utilization (length of stay [LOS] and total hospitalization charges). Multivariate analyses adjusted for confounders. A total of 31 730 admissions were included; 14% were morbidly obese. Patients with morbid obesity had overall lower rates of amputations (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.45-0.80). There was no difference in mortality rates between those who were morbidly obese and the non-morbidly obese patients (aOR: 3.89 [95% CI: 0.79-19.30]). Combined data from 2010 to 2014 have found higher odds of sepsis in morbidly obese patients compared with non-morbidly obese patients after adjusting for confounders (aOR: 1.49 [1.09-2.02], P = 0.01). Patients with morbid obesity were less likely to be discharged to home (aOR: 0.82 [95% CI: 0.70-0.95]), had longer LOS (adjusted mean difference [aMD]: 0.47 [95% CI: 0.13-0.81]) and higher hospital charges (aMD: $3205 [95% CI: $3373-$6037]). Despite having lower amputation rates compared to those who are not morbidly obese, patients with morbid obesity hospitalized for DFU/Is succumbed to sepsis more frequently and had less favourable utilization metrics. Specialized care pathways may be needed to enhance the value of care delivered to this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e12285
JournalClinical obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Diabetic foot infection
  • diabetic foot ulcers
  • obesity
  • outcomes, hospitalizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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