Obesity paradox in amputation risk among nonelderly diabetic men

Min Woong Sohn, Elly Budiman-Mak, Elissa H. Oh, Michael S. Park, Rodney M. Stuck, Neil J. Stone, William B. Pearce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The association between BMI and amputation risk is not currently well known. We used data for a cohort of diabetic patients treated in the US Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in 2003. Men aged < 65 years at the end of follow-up were examined for their amputation risk and amputation-free survival during the next 5 years (2004-2008). Compared to overweight individuals (BMI < 25-29.9 kg/m2), the risks of amputation and treatment failure (amputation or death) were higher for patients with BMI < 25 kg/m2 and were lower for those with BMI < 30 kg/m2. Individuals with BMI < 40 kg/m2 were only half as likely to experience any (hazard ratios (HR) = 0.49; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.30-0.80) and major amputations (HR = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.39-0.73) during follow-up as overweight individuals. While the amputation risk continued to decrease for higher BMI, amputation-free survival showed a slight upturn at BMI 40 kg/m 2. The association between obesity and amputation risk in our data shows a pattern consistent with obesity paradox observed in many health conditions. More research is needed to better understand pathophysiological mechanisms that may explain the paradoxical association between obesity and lower-extremity amputation (LEA) risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-462
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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