A recent study found that children with medical complications (CMC) are much more likely to be obese or overweight than those without medical complications.
CMC is a child with underlying chronic health conditions, significant functional limitations, and increased risk of hospitalization. Approximately 1% to 11% of children in the United States have her CMC, accounting for more than 30% of all pediatric healthcare costs.
Obesity, defined as a preventable public health problem, affects more than 1 in 3 children in the United States and is associated with poor quality of life, shortened life expectancy, and health inequalities. increase.
In CMC, obesity can lead to complications such as delayed life-saving medical treatment, limited functional status, and increased risk of infections and chronic diseases. However, the prevalence of obesity in CMC has not been documented.
To determine the prevalence of obesity in CMC, researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study. The study period was from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, in a single healthcare system.
Participants included children aged 2 to 18 years, and patient-specific data were collected from the Stanford Medical Research Data Repository. Children for whom valid weight and height were not recorded on at least one of her clinical visits were excluded from the study.
The primary outcome of this study was childhood overweight or obesity using definitions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Independent variables included sociodemographic characteristics associated with obesity risk, medical characteristics associated with disease severity, and potential mediators and moderators.
There were 12 CMC subgroups that were not mutually exclusive. technology dependent, and transplant recipients.
The risk of obesity was 17.4% in CMC and 7.3% in non-CMC compared to 14.5% in CMC and 11% in non-CMC. CMCs were at higher risk if they were Hispanic or black, had public insurance, and had a parent with Spanish as their preferred language.
Approximately 8% of CMC had obesity complaints. CMC with metabolic status, gastrointestinal status, and malignancy showed the greatest risk of obesity and overweight, whereas enteral feeding and being female reduced the risk.
After adjustment, the researchers found that CMCs were 27% more likely to be overweight or obese compared to non-CMCs. This study showed that system-level interventions can be designed to reduce obesity in CMC.
Peinado Fabregat MI, Saynina O, Sanders LM. Medically complicated childhood obesity and overweight. Pediatrics. 2022; 151(1). doi:10.1542/peds.2022-058687