Surgery Improves Mortality Rate Among Patients with Obesity

OCTOBER 19, 2016
Although obesity is associated with increased mortality, patients with the condition who undergo bariatric surgery may improve their odds of survival.

The results of a recent study, presented at the 2016 European Obesity Summit, analyzed data on 48,693 patients aged 18 to 74 years who were hospitalized between 2000 and 2011 due to obesity; of the participants, 22,581 underwent bariatric surgery, while the remaining 26,112 did not.

The research team found that the patients who did not have surgery faced a notably higher mortality rate (4.21%) than those in the surgery group (1.11%). Additionally, after an average follow-up period of about 5.5 years, the participants who underwent surgery experienced an overall mortality decrease of 57% compared with their peers in the nonsurgery group; this reduction remained the same even after accounting for age, sex, disease history, and other factors.

The most common causes of death among those who did not have surgery were cardiovascular disease and cancer, whereas participants who underwent surgery were most likely to die of external causes, such as accidents and suicide. However, the incidence of death from these external causes was still lower in the surgery group than in the nonsurgery group.

“This population-based cohort observational study indicates that the overall all-cause mortality is considerably lower among obese individuals who undergo bariatric surgery compared to nonsurgical obese individuals, and the differences lies [sic] mainly in cardiovascular disease and cancer,” the study authors concluded.

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