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Obesity is associated with many cardiovascular risk factors. The goal of this study was to evaluate the independent association between obesity and pulmonary embolism.
We used ICD-9 Codes for obesity and pulmonary embolism from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. We randomly selected the years of 1992 and 2002 databases, which are 10 years apart, as two independent population samples. We used uni- and multi-variate analysis to evaluate any association between obesity and pulmonary embolism.
The 1992 database contained a total of 6,195,744 patients. Obesity was present in 93,568 patients. Pulmonary embolism occurred in 0.7 % of obese patients vs. 0.3 % of the control population (OR: 2.32, CI 2.2-2.4, p<0.0001). The 2002 database contained a total of 299,010 obese patients. Pulmonary embolism occurred in 0.9 % of obese patients vs. 0.4 % of the control population (OR: 2.36, CI 2.19-2.41, p<0.0001). After adjusting for many risk factors, obesity remained strongly associated with a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (for 1992 OR: 2.1, CI: 2.0-2.3, p<0.0001, for 2002, OR: 2.2, CI: 2.1-2.3, p<0.0001).
Obesity has been consistently associated with pulmonary embolism over the years studied using a large inpatient database. This association has been persistent over a period of 10 years and is consistent with the negative effect of obesity on the cardiopulmonary system.