Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2014 - Volume 76 - Issue 4 > Obesity and vehicle type as risk factors for injury caused b...
Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000000168
Original Articles

Obesity and vehicle type as risk factors for injury caused by motor vehicle collision

Donnelly, John P. MSPH; Griffin, Russell Lee PhD; Sathiakumar, Nalini MD, DrPH; McGwin, Gerald MS, PhD

Collapse Box

Abstract

BACKGROUND

This study sought to describe variations in the risk of motor vehicle collision (MVC) injury and death by occupant body mass index (BMI) class and vehicle type. We hypothesized that the relationship between BMI and the risk of MVC injury or mortality would be modified by vehicle type.

METHODS

This is a retrospective cohort study of occupants involved in MVCs using data from the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network and the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System. Occupants were grouped based on vehicle body style (passenger car, sport utility vehicle, or light truck) and vehicle size (compact or normal, corresponding to below- or above-average curb weight). The relationship between occupant BMI class (underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese) and risk of injury or mortality was examined for each vehicle type. Odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for various occupant and collision characteristics were estimated.

RESULTS

Of an estimated 44 million occupants of MVCs sampled from 2000 to 2009, 37.1% sustained an injury. We limited our analysis to injuries achieving an Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score of 2 or more severe, totaling 17 million injuries. Occupants differed substantially in terms of demographic and collision characteristics. After adjustment for confounding factors, we found that obesity was a risk factor for mortality caused by MVC (OR, 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–2.0). When stratified by vehicle type, we found that obesity was a risk factor for mortality in larger vehicles, including any-sized light trucks (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3–3.5), normal-sized passenger cars (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1–2.3), and normal-sized sports utility vehicles or vans (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0–3.8). Being overweight was a risk factor in any-sized light trucks (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1–2.1).

CONCLUSION

We identified a significant interaction between occupant BMI class and vehicle type in terms of MVC-related mortality risk. Both factors should be taken into account when considering occupant safety, and additional study is needed to determine underlying causes of the observed relationships.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

Epidemiologic study, level III.

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Follow Us


Login

Article Tools

Share

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.