Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bariatric Surgery Lowers Long-Term Mortality

More data to support that bariatric surgery may improve mortality. Two new studies are published in the August 23, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, indicating that bariatric surgery resulted in decreased overall mortality, in addition to the known effective long-term weight loss. One study came from Utah (Adams et al.). The other came from Sweden (Sjöström, et al). In an Editorial in the Journal, Dr. George A. Bray of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, commented that those articles "may provide the missing link between intentional weight loss and lives saved for obese patients"

The Utah study is a retrospective study that aimed at determining the long-term mortality among more than 9000 patients who had undergone gastric bypass and a comparable number of severely obese persons who applied for driver's licenses. During follow-up averaging 7 years, mortality in the surgery group decreased by 56% for coronary artery disease, by 92% for diabetes, and by 60% for cancer. On the other hand, mortality from accidents and suicide, was 58% higher in the surgery group than in the control group. All in all, there was a survival benefit from bariatric surgery.

The other article titled "Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Mortality in Swedish Obese Subjects" reports a prospective, controlled Swedish Obese Subjects study involving more than 4000 obese subjects. The study reports on the overall mortality during an average of 10.9 years of follow-up with an impressive follow-up rate of 99.9%. The study concluded that bariatric surgery for severe obesity is associated with long-term weight loss and decreased overall mortality.


Adams TD, Gress RE, Smith SC, Halverson RC, Simper SC, Rosamond WD, Lamonte MJ, Stroup AM, Hunt SC.Long-term mortality after gastric bypass surgery.N Engl J Med. 2007 Aug 23;357(8):753-61. PMID: 17715409 (Full Text)

Sjöström L, Narbro K, Sjöström CD, Karason K, Larsson B, Wedel H, Lystig T, Sullivan M, Bouchard C, Carlsson B, Bengtsson C, Dahlgren S, Gummesson A, Jacobson P, Karlsson J, Lindroos AK, Lönroth H, Näslund I, Olbers T, Stenlöf K, Torgerson J, Agren G, Carlsson LM; Swedish Obese Subjects Study.Effects of bariatric surgery on mortality in Swedish obese subjects.N Engl J Med. 2007 Aug 23;357(8):741-52. PMID: 17715408 (Full Text)