Body mass index (BMI) in patients attending the anaesthesia clinic: implications for anaesthesia

  • H.K Baddoo
  • F.K Boni
  • E Lamptey
Keywords: anaesthesia, morbidity, mortality, developing countries


Aim: This study was undertaken to determine the incidence of obesity among patients presenting for elective surgery at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), a tertiary hospital in Ghana, and thus determine whether obesity is a significant problem in patients presenting for anaesthesia. Methods: The data of all patients 18 years old and above attending the anaesthesia clinic at the KBTH over a three month period in 2004 were selected for the study. Results: There were 854 patients in the study comprising 73% female and 27% male. The Body Mass Index (BMI) ranged between 16.3 kg/m2 and 44.4 kg/m2. The mean BMI was 26.16 kg/m2 with a standard deviation of 4.65. Overall, 43.2 patients had a normal BMI, 35.4% of patients were overweight, 20.3% of patients were obese and 1.2% were underweight. Amongst males, 62.2% had a normal BMI, 26.2% were overweight, 8.6% were obese and 3% were underweight, whereas amongst females, 36.1% had a normal BMI, 38.8% were overweight, 24.6% were obese and 0.5% were underweight. Conclusion: The above findings show that a significant proportion of patients (55.6%) presenting for anaesthesia were either overweight or obese. Obesity was more prevalent in females than in males. These findings have important implications for anaesthesia, especially in developing countries with limited resources and manpower. Key words: Obesity ; anaesthesia ; morbidity, mortality; developing countries

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eISSN: 0794-2184
print ISSN: 0794-2184