Background: The effect of obesity on complications after resection for lung cancer is unknown. We hypothesized that obesity is associated with increased complications after anatomic resections for non-small cell lung cancer.
Methods: A review of our prospective general thoracic database identified 499 consecutive anatomic resections for non-small cell lung cancer from November 2002 to May 2006. Body mass index (BMI) was used to group patients as nonobese (BMI > 18.5 to < 30) and obese (BMI > or = 30). Patient characteristics and oncologic and operative variables were compared between groups. Multivariable logistic regression models were fit with BMI included at every level. Outcomes examined included in-hospital morbidity, mortality, length of stay, and readmission.
Results: Seventy-five percent (372 of 499) were nonobese, and 25% (127 of 499) were obese. Preoperative variables were similar, except for a greater incidence of diabetes mellitus (p < 0.0001) in the obese group. Overall mortality was 1.4% (7 of 499) and was not different between groups (p = 0.85). Thirty-day readmission rates (p = 0.76) and length of stay (p = 0.30) were similar. Obese patients had a higher incidence of acute renal failure (p = 0.001). A complication occurred in 33% (124 of 372) of nonobese and 31% (39 of 127) of obese patients (p = 0.59). Respiratory complications occurred in 22% (81 of 372) of nonobese and 14% (18 of 127) of obese patients (p = 0.06). Significant predictors of any complication include performance status, diffusing capacity, and tumor stage. Significant predictors of respiratory complications include performance status, diffusing capacity, chronic renal insufficiency, prior thoracic surgery, and chest wall resection.
Conclusions: In contrast to our hypothesis, obesity does not increase the incidence of perioperative complications, mortality, or length of stay after anatomic resection for non-small cell lung cancer.