Weight Changes in Young Service Members After Lower Limb Amputation: Insights From Group-Based Trajectory Modeling

Brittney Mazzone Gunterstockman, Elizabeth Russell Esposito, Adam Yoder, Clair Smith, Shawn Farrokhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Weight gain can contribute to osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, low back pain, and poor health-related quality of life. Weight trajectory patterns have been described in older veterans with limb loss; however, there is limited evidence of changes in weight in younger veterans with limb loss. Materials and Methods: Service members with unilateral or bilateral lower limb amputations (LLAs) (and without an upper limb amputation) were included in this retrospective cohort analysis (n = 931). The mean postamputation baseline weight was 78.0 ± 14.1 kg. Bodyweight and sociodemographic data were extracted from clinical encounters within electronic health records. Group-based trajectory modeling assessed weight change patterns 2 years postamputation. Results: Three weight change trajectory groups were identified: 58% (542 of 931) of the cohort had stable weight, 38% (352 of 931) had weight gain (mean gain = 19.1 kg), and 4% (31 of 931) had weight loss (mean loss = 14.5 kg). Individuals with bilateral amputations were more frequently noted in the weight loss group compared with those with unilateral amputations. Individuals with LLAs because of trauma other than blasts were more frequently found in the stable weight group compared with those with amputations because of disease or a blast. Younger individuals (<20 years old) with amputations were more likely to be in the weight gain group compared with older individuals. Conclusions: More than half the cohort maintained a stable weight for two years after amputation, and more than a third experienced weight gain during the same time frame. Knowledge of underlying factors that were associated with weight gain could inform preventative strategies for young individuals with LLAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2992-e2999
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


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