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 23 February 2018

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Reduced cause-specific mortality after gastric bypass surgery

This week's The New England Journal of Medicine investigates long-term mortality after gastric bypass surgery.

News image

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Gastric bypass surgery accounts for 80% of bariatric surgery in the United States.

However, only limited long-term data are available on mortality among patients who have undergone this procedure as compared with severely obese persons from a general population.

Dr Ted Adams and colleagues from Utah, USA undertook a retrospective cohort study on the long-term mortality among 9949 patients who had undergone gastric bypass surgery from 1984 to 2002.

The research team also assessed 9628 severely obese persons who applied for driver's licenses.

From these subjects, 7925 surgical patients and 7925 severely obese control subjects were matched for age, sex, and body-mass index.

Long-term mortality in the surgery group decreased by 40%
The New England Journal of Medicine

The team compared the rates of death from any cause and from specific causes with the use of the National Death Index.

The team found that during a mean follow-up of 7 years, adjusted long-term mortality from any cause in the surgery group decreased by 40%.

There were 37 and 57 deaths per 10,000 person-years in the surgery group and the control group, respectively.

Cause-specific mortality in the surgery group decreased by 56% for coronary artery disease, by 92% for diabetes, and by 60% for cancer.

The team noted that rates of death not caused by disease, such as accidents and suicide, were 58% higher in the surgery group than in the control group.

Dr Adams' team concluded, "Long-term total mortality after gastric bypass surgery was significantly reduced, particularly deaths from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer."

"However, the rate of death from causes other than disease was higher in the surgery group than in the control group."

NEJM 2007: 357(8): 753-61
28 August 2007

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