Background: Patient body mass index (BMI) plays an important role in stress exposure, especially in elderly patients with hip fracture. However, how BMI modifies the relationship between the waiting time for surgery and mortality remains unclear. Methods: We investigated the association between waiting time and mortality using a nationwide multicenter database of patients undergoing hip fracture surgery. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality and secondary outcomes were complications. We performed prespecified subgroup analysis with stratification by BMI. Results: Overall, 305,846 patients (mean age, 83.5; standard deviation [SD], 8.2); women, 79.5% (n = 243,214) were included in our study. A cubic spline curve revealed two inflection points in the association between waiting time and mortality, and we statistically divided patients into three groups accordingly: the reference group (80,110 patients [26.2%] who waited 1 day for surgery), the delayed group (184,778 patients [60.4%] who waited 2–6 days for surgery), and the extremely delayed group (40,958 patients [13.4%] who waited more than 6 days for surgery). Multivariable logistic regression models showed that the odds of mortality in the delayed group was 14% higher than that in the reference group (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.14; p = 0.002), whereas the odds of mortality in the extremely delayed group was 52% higher than that of the reference group (aOR, 1.52; p < 0.001). Patients with lower BMI were more negatively affected by delayed surgery compared to patients with normal BMI (p for interaction = 0.002). Respiratory disorders were most frequent and the spline curve was accordant with in-hospital mortality. Conclusion: Patients underwent surgery within 1 day, particularly with lower BMI, had a lower mortality than normal BMI. To optimize limited health care resource, patient's BMI should be considered for hip fracture management, and further investigation in prospective study should be needed to address causal relationship. Level of evidence: Therapeutic Level III.
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