OBJECTIVE: We investigated the documentation of obesity as a medical problem, and subsequent management recommendations, in patients after myocardial infarction (MI). DESIGN: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a randomly selected sample of 627 patients discharged after an MI, from five US teaching hospitals between 1/1/01 and 12/31/02. Information was extracted from clinical notes using standardized definitions. RESULTS: Mean body mass index (BMI) was 31 ± 13 kg/m2, which was documented in only 14% of patients and had to be calculated post hoc in the rest. Waist circumference and waist/hip ratio were not documented at all; 83% of patients were overweight, 55% obese, and 8% morbidly obese. In only 20% of patients with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 was the diagnosis of obesity documented either as a current medical problem, as part of past medical history or as a final diagnosis. A dietary counseling was carried out in 61% of patients with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 and in 61% of patients with BMI < 25 kg/m2, P = 0.96. Weight loss was described as part of the goals/plan at discharge in 7% of overweight and 9% of obese patients. There was no change in either the level of recognition of obesity (22 vs 19%, P = 0.3) or in the proportion of obese patients for whom weight loss was described as part of the goals/plan at discharge (8 vs 10%, P = 0.7) before (n = 301) compared to after (n = 326) the Call to Action in Obesity by the Surgeon General in December 2001. CONCLUSION: Obesity is underecognized, underdiagnosed and undertreated in persons with acute MI.
- Myocardial infarction
- Risk factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Food Science
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism