Nutritional Status Based on Body Mass Index Is Associated With Morbidity and Mortality in Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Children in the PICU. (Emrath)

Bechard LJ, et al. Nutritional Status Based on Body Mass Index Is Associated With Morbidity and Mortality in Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Children in the PICU. Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug;44(8):1530-7.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of admission anthropometry on clinical outcomes in mechanically ventilated children in the PICU.

DESIGN: Data from two multicenter cohort studies were compiled to examine the unique contribution of nutritional status, defined by body mass index z score, to 60-day mortality, hospital-acquired infections, length of hospital stay, and ventilator-free days, using multivariate analysis.

SETTING: Ninety PICUs from 16 countries with eight or more beds.

PATIENTS: Children aged 1 month to 18 years, admitted to each participating PICU and requiring mechanical ventilation for more than 48 hours.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Data from 1,622 eligible patients, 54.8% men and mean (SD) age 4.5 years (5.1), were analyzed. Subjects were classified as underweight (17.9%), normal weight (54.2%), overweight (14.5%), and obese (13.4%) based on body mass index z score at admission. After adjusting for severity of illness and site, the odds of 60-day mortality were higher in underweight (odds ratio, 1.53; p < 0.001) children. The odds of hospital-acquired infections were higher in underweight (odds ratio, 1.88; p = 0.008) and obese (odds ratio, 1.64; p < 0.001) children. Hazard ratios for hospital discharge were lower among underweight (hazard ratio, 0.71; p < 0.001) and obese (hazard ratio, 0.82; p = 0.04) children. Underweight was associated with 1.3 (p = 0.001) and 1.6 (p < 0.001) fewer ventilator-free days than normal weight and overweight, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Malnutrition is prevalent in mechanically ventilated children on admission to PICUs worldwide. Classification as underweight or obese was associated with higher risk of hospital-acquired infections and lower likelihood of hospital discharge. Underweight children had a higher risk of mortality and fewer ventilator-free days.