Bariatric Surgery Outcomes Similar Regardless of Age at Obesity Onset

Close up surgical operation using laparoscopic equipment in modern clinic.
The treatment benefits of bariatric surgery in adults are similar regardless of early- or adult-onset obesity.

HealthDay News — The treatment benefits of bariatric surgery in adults are similar regardless of early- or adult-onset obesity, according to a study recently published in Diabetes Care.

Felipe M. Kristensson, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues used data from the Swedish Obese Subjects study to investigate how obesity status at 20 years of age affects outcomes after bariatric surgery later in life. The analysis included participants (aged 37 to 60 years with body mass index [BMI] ≥34 kg/m² [men] or ≥38 kg/m² [women]), of whom 2,007 underwent bariatric surgery and 2,040 received usual care.

The researchers observed small but statistically significant differences in reduction of body weight among the subgroups after bariatric surgery, with the largest reductions among those with obesity aged 20 years. Participants undergoing bariatric surgery experienced increased type 2 diabetes remission (odds ratios, 4.51, 4.90, and 5.58 in subgroups with normal BMI, overweight, or obesity at 20 years of age, respectively), reduced type 2 diabetes incidence (odds ratios, 0.15, 0.13, and 0.15, respectively), and reduced microvascular complications independent of obesity status at 20 years of age. In subgroups, the association between bariatric surgery and cardiovascular disease was similar, as were surgical complications.

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“Since the group that had already developed obesity by the age of 20 had been exposed to obesity and its risks for longer periods, we’d expected that bariatric surgical treatment in these participants would be less effective in terms of weight loss and obesity-related sequelae than in the other group,” a coauthor said in a statement. “But it wasn’t like that.”

One author reported receiving fees from the pharmaceutical industry.

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