A Study On Bariatric Surgery Found To Lower Risk Of Death

A Study on Bariatric Surgery Found to Lower Risk of Death



Obesity is on the rise, and so are associated health risks like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and sleep apnea. Although once believed to be a risky and rare procedure, bariatric surgery is becoming a prevalent option for people who suffer from morbid obesity. Over 175,000 patients underwent bariatric surgery last year and the number is expected to grow this year. Although there are risks in undergoing these procedures, the surgery death rate has fallen over the years as the technique becomes more sophisticated and less invasive.

“For certain patients there are reasons why if they don’t have the operation, lose a significant amount of weight, fix their diabetes, improve their cardiac condition, or improve their lung condition.. these patients may reasonably expect to die anywhere in the next 1, 2, 5, 10 years.”


Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a significant long term benefit to bariatric surgery for the morbidly obese: a reduced risk of death. The first study by the University of Utah examined gastric bypass surgery according to data collected on nearly 16,000 severely obese people, half of which had undergone the surgery between 1984 and 2002. The results of the study found surgery patients were 40% less likely to die from any cause during the 7 year follow period. Additionally, patients were 92% less likely to die from diabetes, 59% less likely to die from coronary artery disease, and 60% less likely to die from cancer.

The second study by Gothenburg University in Sweden, observed 4,000 obese volunteers with half undergoing a type of bariatric surgery and the other half undergoing conventional obesity treatment. Ten years following the treatment, the bariatric surgery group had lost more weight and had a 24% reduced risk of death compared to the conventional treatment group. For patients suffering from morbid obesity, choosing to have surgery should be a careful consideration but one that should not be overlooked.

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