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Researchers found that critical injuries in obese trauma patients yield higher mortality rates than critical injuries among trauma patients who are not obese.The study, from the University of Southern California Medical Center, determined that obesity can impede the body's healthy response to an injury. In obese patients, lung capacity is reduced, and there is a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. In addition, surgery becomes more difficult among obese patients, and their radiographic images are not as reliable. The authors, in an article published in a recent issue of the Archives of Surgery, concluded that obesity as a risk factor causes almost a 6-fold increase in mortality rate with critical injuries.