The impact of obesity on hospitalized patients with ulcerative colitis

Authors Mohammed El-Dallal, Daniel J. Stein, Yoshihiko Raita, Joseph D. Feuerstein.


Background Obesity is the fifth leading risk factor for mortality in the world and it has increased among patients with ulcerative colitis in recent years. We examined the impact of obesity on the hospitalized patients admitted primarily with a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis.

Methods We used the National Inpatient Sample data for the year 2016 to identify patients with ulcerative colitis and compared obese and non-obese patients in terms of length of hospital stay, total charges, and mortality. We used multiple imputations to estimate missing values and survey analysis to estimate the outcomes, and we adjusted for confounders by implementing the inverse probability of treatment weighting using propensity score.

Results A total of 61,075 admissions with ulcerative colitis were identified. Among these, 6020 were diagnosed with obesity. Baseline hospital and patient characteristics between the 2 groups were notable for differences in age and sex. Patients with obesity were found to have a mean hospital stay longer by 0.57 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.22-0.93; P=0.002) and charges $6341.71 higher (95%CI 2499.72-10,183.71; P=0.001) compared to non-obese patients. There was no difference in hospital mortality, with an odds ratio of 0.28 (95%CI 0.04-2.05; P=0.212).

Conclusion In a comprehensive review of inpatient admissions in 2016, primarily for ulcerative colitis, obesity was associated with a longer hospital stay and higher total charges per admission after balancing of confounders.

Keywords Ulcerative colitis, obesity, length of hospital stay, hospital cost

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (2): 196-201

Original Articles