HealthDay News — Lung cancer surgery patients who are either underweight or severely obese appear to have higher rates of complications and mortality following surgery, according to findings scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, held from January 23 to 27 in Phoenix.
The study included 41 446 patients who had lung cancer surgery between 2009 and 2014. Patients were categorized according to their body mass index (BMI).
The team found that patients who were either underweight or severely obese had the highest rates of complications and death following surgery, but overweight and slightly obese patients had a lower risk of complications than normal-weight patients.
Study co-leader Trevor Williams, MD, of the University of Chicago, explained in a Society news release that underweight individuals are more likely to be frail, “which is associated with impaired strength, reduced activity, and being easily fatigued. There also may be an association with immune system impairment. All of these factors adversely affect outcomes after lung surgery.”