Objective To investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and the functional progress of patients with stroke, admitted to a rehabilitation hospital. Design A retrospective cohort study. Setting A freestanding university rehabilitation hospital stroke unit. Participants All patients (N=819) admitted to the stroke unit of a rehabilitation hospital during the study. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures The primary study outcome measure was the FIM efficiency of patients by BMI category. Results For the 819 patients admitted during the observation period, BMI was compared with FIM score changes per day (FIM efficiency). After adjusting for age and sex, the FIM efficiency differed by BMI. The underweight group had the lowest FIM efficiency, followed by the obese and normal-weight subgroups. The overweight group had the highest FIM efficiency (P=.05) when compared with the obese subgroup. Conclusions Among patients admitted to an acute rehabilitation hospital for stroke rehabilitation, overweight patients had better functional progress than did patients in the other weight categories.
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