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BMI and risk of serious upper body injury following motor vehicle crashes: concordance of real-world and computer-simulated observations. PLoS Med 2010 Mar 30;7(3):e1000250 PMID: 20361024 PMCID: PMC2846859

Pubmed ID

20361024

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Men tend to have more upper body mass and fat than women, a physical characteristic that may predispose them to severe motor vehicle crash (MVC) injuries, particularly in certain body regions. This study examined MVC-related regional body injury and its association with the presence of driver obesity using both real-world data and computer crash simulation.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Real-world data were from the 2001 to 2005 National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System. A total of 10,941 drivers who were aged 18 years or older involved in frontal collision crashes were eligible for the study. Sex-specific logistic regression models were developed to analyze the associations between MVC injury and the presence of driver obesity. In order to confirm the findings from real-world data, computer models of obese subjects were constructed and crash simulations were performed. According to real-world data, obese men had a substantially higher risk of injury, especially serious injury, to the upper body regions including head, face, thorax, and spine than normal weight men (all p<0.05). A U-shaped relation was found between body mass index (BMI) and serious injury in the abdominal region for both men and women (p<0.05 for both BMI and BMI(2)). In the high-BMI range, men were more likely to be seriously injured than were women for all body regions except the extremities and abdominal region (all p<0.05 for interaction between BMI and sex). The findings from the computer simulation were generally consistent with the real-world results in the present study.

CONCLUSIONS: Obese men endured a much higher risk of injury to upper body regions during MVCs. This higher risk may be attributed to differences in body shape, fat distribution, and center of gravity between obese and normal-weight subjects, and between men and women. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.

Author List

Zhu S, Kim JE, Ma X, Shih A, Laud PW, Pintar F, Shen W, Heymsfield SB, Allison DB

Authors

Purushottam W. Laud PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Frank A. Pintar PhD Chair, Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Medical College of Wisconsin




Scopus

2-s2.0-77950658208   30 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Accidents, Traffic
Body Mass Index
Computer Simulation
Female
Humans
Logistic Models
Male
Motor Vehicles
Obesity
Odds Ratio
Risk Factors
Sex Characteristics
Wounds and Injuries
jenkins-FCD Prod-296 4db9d02597e0a2e889e230f853b641c12f1c3ee3