Body Mass Index Category and Adverse Events in Hospitalized Children

Elizabeth Eby Halvorson, Danielle P. Thurtle, Ashley Easter, James Lovato, David C. Stockwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To identify associations between patient body mass index (BMI) category and adverse event (AE) rate, severity, and preventability in a cohort of children discharged from an academic children's hospital. Methods: We identified patients 2 to 17 years old consecutively discharged between June and October 2018. Patient age, sex, height, and weight were used to categorize patients as having underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obesity. We used the Global Assessment of Pediatrics Patient Safety trigger tool to identify AEs, which were scored for harm and preventability. The primary outcome was the rate of AEs; these were compared with Poisson regression. We used multivariable logistic regression to model event preventability. Results: We reviewed 834 encounters in 680 subjects; 51 (7.5%) had underweight, 367 (54.0%) had normal weight, 112 (16.5%) had overweight, and 150 (22.1%) had obesity. Our cohort experienced 270 AEs, with an overall rate of 69.7 (61.8–78.5) AEs per 1000 patient-days: 67.7 (46.4–98.7) in underweight, 70.0 (59.4–82.4) in normal weight, 58.6 (42.5–79.7) in overweight, and 80.4 (62.5–103.6) in obesity, P = .46. No associations were seen between BMI category and AE severity. Children with obesity had an increased rate of preventable AEs (P < .01), but this association did not persist in the multivariable model. Conclusions: In this single-center study, we did not find associations between BMI category and rate, severity, or preventability of AEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-753
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • hospital medicine
  • obesity
  • patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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