Weight-loss surgery

Weight-loss surgery reduces risk of death, University of Utah study finds

Weight-loss surgery

The specialists explain that the key for patients is to know that changing their diet is easier after undergoing bariatric surgery, as well as taking the new medications to lose weight.

A 40-year investigation involving some 22,000 women found that weight-loss surgery reduces the risk of premature death, especially from obesity-related conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Participants underwent bariatric surgery in Utah and compared to people of similar weight, they were 16% less likely to die from any cause.
In addition, it was found that the decline in deaths from diseases caused by obesity, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, was even more dramatic.

“Deaths from cardiovascular disease were down 29 percent, while deaths from various cancers were down 43 percent, which is pretty impressive,” said lead author Ted Adams, an adjunct associate professor of nutrition and integrative physiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

They explain that there was a large percentage drop, a 72% decrease, in diabetes-related deaths in people who had surgery compared to those who did not.
One significant downside: The study also found that younger people who had the surgery were at higher risk of suicide.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Obesity, reinforce similar research, including a 10-year study in Sweden that found significant reductions in premature deaths, said Dr. Eduardo Grunvald, a professor of medicine and medical director of weight management for the program. at the University of California San Diego Health.

Diet after bariatric surgery

According to Grunvald, the key for patients is knowing that changing their diet becomes more natural, easier after undergoing bariatric surgery or taking new weight-loss medications.

“While we still don’t fully understand why, these interventions actually change the chemistry in your brain, making it much easier to change your diet afterwards,” he said.

Yet despite the benefits, only 2% of patients who are eligible for bariatric surgery get it, often because of obesity stigma, said Dr. Caroline Apovian, a professor of medicine at the School of Medicine. from Harvard and co-director of the Center for Weight Control. and Wellness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Insurance companies typically cover the cost of surgery for people 18 and older with a body mass index of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 if the patient also has a related condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, he said. she.