Acute burn injuries associated with long-term mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Hadyn Kankam*, Kwang Chear Lee, Amanda Veiga Sardeli, Janine Dretzke, Janet Lord, Naiem Moiemen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Emerging evidence suggests that the pathophysiological impact of acute burn injuries may have chronic health consequences. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the association between burn injuries and long-term mortality in patients surviving to initial discharge from hospital.

Methods: Medline and Embase databases were searched on 22 October 2021. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they compared long-term mortality amongst burn survivors to non-injured controls from the general population. When the same output metrics related to mortality were reported, meta-analyses were undertaken using a random effects model. Risk of bias was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal tool.

Results: Following an extensive literature search, six studies (seven articles) were identified for inclusion. They were predominantly based in high-income countries, with each comparing burns' survivors to matched non-injured controls from the general population. The four studies included in the meta-analysis had a combined unadjusted odds ratio of 2.65 (1.84 - 3.81; 95 % confidence interval) and adjusted mortality rate ratio of 1.59 (1.31 - 1.93; 95 % confidence interval). Thus, burn survivors demonstrated greater mortality rates when compared to their non-injured counterparts. Similar findings were illustrated in the remaining studies not included in the meta-analysis, with the exception of one study which found no significant difference between the two groups.

Conclusions: Our review suggests that acute burn injuries may be associated with greater long-term mortality rates (unadjusted and adjusted). The underlying mechanism is unclear and further work is required to establish the role of certain factors such as biological ageing processes, to improve outcomes for burn patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Early online date22 Jun 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd and International Society of Burns Injuries


  • Burns
  • Chronic
  • Life expectancy
  • Long-term
  • Mortality
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute burn injuries associated with long-term mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this