Clinical Impact of Severe Obesity in Patients with Lymphoedema

A retrospective health care utilization (HCU) analysis of 60,284 patients with lymphedema comparing those determined to be severely obese (defined as a BMI >40.0 kg/m2) to those with a BMI <40.0 kg/m2.

It was noted that the population of individuals with lymphedema who were also severely obese in the US doubled between 2013 and 2019.

The researchers also found that obese patients were:

  • Younger, more likely to be men, and had higher rates of comorbidities
  • Less likely to receive targeted lymphedema treatments despite the recommendations that patients with lymphedema be referred for PT/OT or MLD
  • 2.5 times more likely to develop a cellulitis complication resulting in higher medical costs