Clinical Outcomes after Bariatric Surgery: A Five-Year Matched Cohort Analysis in Seven US States

Center for Health Care Research and Policy, Department of Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, 2500 MetroHealth Drive, Rammelkamp building R234A, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA.
Obesity Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.75). 01/2012; 22(5):749-63. DOI: 10.1007/s11695-012-0595-2
Source: PubMed


Bariatric surgery is the most effective weight loss treatment, yet few studies have reported on short- and long-term outcomes postsurgery.
Using claims data from seven Blue Cross/Blue Shield health plans serving seven states, we conducted a non-concurrent, matched cohort study. We followed 22,693 persons who underwent bariatric surgery during 2003-2007 and were enrolled at least 6 months before and after surgery. Using logistic regression, we compared serious and less serious adverse clinical outcomes, hospitalizations, planned procedures, and obesity-related co-morbidities between groups for up to 5 years.
Relative to controls, surgery patients were more likely to experience a serious [odds ratio (OR) 1.9; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8-2.0] or less serious (OR 2.5, CI 2.4-2.7) adverse clinical outcome or hospitalization (OR 1.3, CI 1.3-1.4) at 1 year postsurgery. The risk remained elevated until 4 years postsurgery for serious events and 5 years for less serious outcomes and hospitalizations. Some complication rates were lower for patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery. Planned procedures, such as skin reduction, peaked in postsurgery year 2 but remained elevated through year 5. Surgery patients had a 55% decreased risk of obesity-related co-morbidities, such as type 2 diabetes, in the first year postsurgery, which remained low throughout the study (year 5: OR 0.4, CI 0.4-0.5).
While bariatric surgery is associated with a higher risk of adverse clinical outcomes compared to controls, it also substantially decreased obesity-related co-morbidities during the 5-year follow-up.

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