Weight loss surgery helps keep pounds off 10 years later

Reuters Health Information: Weight loss surgery helps keep pounds off 10 years later

Weight loss surgery helps keep pounds off 10 years later

Last Updated: 2016-06-24

By Linda Thrasybule

(Reuters Health) - Ten years after gastric-bypass weight-loss surgery, patients in a recent study had managed to keep off much of the weight they'd lost.

Even more important, said Dr. J. Hunter Mehaffey, they also saw reductions in other medical problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, joint diseases and sleep apnea.

Mehaffey, from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, told Reuters Health by phone, "It's not just that people are losing a lot of weight, but they're also much healthier."

Using a large database, Mehaffey and colleagues identified 1,087 patients who had gastric bypass surgery between 1985 and 2004.

Ten years later, the authors were able to contact 651 of the patients by phone.

At the time of their surgery, most were white and female, in their early 40s, on average. Their mean body mass index at baseline was in the low to mid 50s.

By two years after the operation, patients had lost 74% of their excess BMI, on average. At 10 years, they had still kept off more than half of the excess BMI that they had lost, and more than 25% of their original total body weight loss.

Preoperatively, 41% of the patients had diabetes, 25% had heart disease, 59% had high blood pressure and 36% had sleep apnea, the authors report in the July issue of Annals of Surgery.

At the 10-year point, only 18% still had diabetes, 16% had heart disease, 47% had high blood pressure, and 16% had sleep apnea.

The rate of joint disease had dropped from 61% to 32%. And the rate of reflux disease had fallen from 38% to 29.

All of these differences were statistically significant, according to the report.

"The benefits are immense," said Dr. Amir Ghaferi, a bariatric surgeon at the University of Michigan Health System who was not part of the study. "There's proven evidence that this type of surgery has benefits that exceed intensive medical management like counseling, dietary assistance and exercise programs."

Ghaferi noted that while gastric bypass is considered the gold standard, "over the past five or six years, there have been more sleeve gastrectomy procedures."

Still, Ghaferi said, the new findings are useful.

"There's always a concern about weight regain over time so it's good to see 50% of excess (BMI) was kept off at 10 years," he said.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/28X5Ksx

Ann Surg 2016.

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