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BackgroundThe effects of body mass index (BMI) on the prognosis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are controversial. We aimed to further determine the relationship between BMI and the acute outcomes of patients with ARDS.MethodsWe searched the Pubmed, Embase, Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and ISI Web of Science for trials published between 1946 and July 2016, using "BMI" or "body mass index" or "overweight" or "obese" and "ARDS" or "ALI" or "acute respiratory distress syndrome" or "acute lung injury", without limitations on publication type or language. Heterogeneity and sensitivity analyses were conducted, and a random-effects model was applied to calculate the odds ratio (OR) or mean difference (MD). Review Manager (RevMan) was used to test the hypothesis using the Mann-Whitney U test. The primary outcome was unadjusted mortality, and secondary outcomes included mechanical ventilation (MV)-free days and length of stay (LOS) in the intensive care unit (ICU) and in hospital.ResultsFive trials with a total of 6268 patients were pooled in our final analysis. There was statistical heterogeneity between normal-weight and overweight patients in LOS in the ICU (I 2 = 71%, χ 2 = 10.27, P = 0.02) and in MV-free days (I 2 = 89%, χ 2 = 18.45, P ConclusionsObesity and morbid obesity are associated with lower mortality in patients with ARDS.

Original publication




Journal article


Critical care (London, England)

Publication Date





Departments of Respiratory Diseases, West China School of Medicine and West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37 Guoxue Alley, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan, China.


Humans, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult, Obesity, Body Mass Index, Prognosis, Length of Stay, Statistics, Nonparametric, Intensive Care Units, Overweight, Acute Lung Injury, Patient Outcome Assessment