To investigate the association between body habitus and mortality in critically ill children with sepsis or septic shock.
This was a retrospective cohort study of prospectively collected data of children admitted to US pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) with a primary or secondary diagnosis of sepsis or septic shock. We separated body habitus into underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese. Outcomes were mortality (primary), treatment with invasive mechanical ventilation (secondary), and time to PICU discharge for survivors (secondary). Multivariable analyses using mixed-effects logistic regression and shared frailty models clustered by unit and adjusted for confounding variables were used to assess the association between body habitus and outcomes.
There were 7038 children with sepsis or septic shock. Mortality was 10.1% (n = 714) and 52.9% (n = 3720) required invasive mechanical ventilation. Body habitus was not associated with mortality after controlling for hospital level effects and confounding variables. Children who were overweight and obese had greater odds of invasive mechanical ventilation (overweight OR 1.23 [95% CI 1.05-1.45], P = .011 and obese OR 1.57 [95% CI 1.37-1.80], P < .001) compared with children of normal weight. In survivors treated with invasive mechanical ventilation, children who were obese had a longer time to PICU discharge than children of normal weight (obese hazard ratio for discharge 0.84 [95% CI, 0.77-0.92], P < .0001).
There was no association between body habitus and mortality in critically ill children with sepsis. Children who were overweight and obese were more likely to receive invasive mechanical ventilation and mechanically ventilated survivors who were obsese had a longer time to PICU discharge.