Weight loss surgery and death risk
Weight-loss surgery (bariatric surgery) doesn't decrease the risk of death among severely obese middle-aged adults.
The prevalence of obesity (BMI greater than 35) has been increasing as has the prevalence of severe obesity (BMI greater than 40) and super-obesity (BMI greater than 50). Obesity is difficult to treat, and bariatric surgery is the most effective means to induce weight loss for the severely obese. Consequently, obesity surgery rates have increased but no study has examined the long-term survival of high-risk patients who underwent bariatric surgery.
Researchers examined the mortality for 850 Americans who had bariatric surgery in January 2000 to December 2006 (average age 49.5 years; average BMI, 47.4) and 41,244 nonsurgical controls (average age 54.7 years; average BMI 42.0.
It was found that 11 of the 850 bariatric surgery patients (1.29 percent) died within one month of surgery. Bariatric surgery was not significantly associated with reduced mortality compared to the nonsurgical controls.
Even though bariatric surgery doesn't reduce the risk of death among middle-aged male patients, many of them still decide to undergo the procedure because there's strong evidence that it reduces body weight and obesity-related health problems, and improves quality of life, the researchers concluded.
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