Surgery decreases long-term mortality, morbidity, and health care use in morbidly obese patients.

Section of Bariatric Surgery, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Annals of Surgery (Impact Factor: 7.19). 09/2004; 240(3):416-23; discussion 423-4. DOI: 10.1097/01.sla.0000137343.63376.19
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study tested the hypothesis that weight-reduction (bariatric) surgery reduces long-term mortality in morbidly obese patients.
Obesity is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. The impact of surgically induced, long-term weight loss on this mortality is unknown.
We used an observational 2-cohort study. The treatment cohort (n = 1035) included patients having undergone bariatric surgery at the McGill University Health Centre between 1986 and 2002. The control group (n = 5746) included age- and gender-matched severely obese patients who had not undergone weight-reduction surgery identified from the Quebec provincial health insurance database. Subjects with medical conditions (other then morbid obesity) at cohort-inception into the study were excluded. The cohorts were followed for a maximum of 5 years from inception.
The cohorts were well matched for age, gender, and duration of follow-up. Bariatric surgery resulted in significant reduction in mean percent excess weight loss (67.1%, P < 0.001). Bariatric surgery patients had significant risk reductions for developing cardiovascular, cancer, endocrine, infectious, psychiatric, and mental disorders compared with controls, with the exception of hematologic (no difference) and digestive diseases (increased rates in the bariatric cohort). The mortality rate in the bariatric surgery cohort was 0.68% compared with 6.17% in controls (relative risk 0.11, 95% confidence interval 0.04-0.27), which translates to a reduction in the relative risk of death by 89%.
This study shows that weight-loss surgery significantly decreases overall mortality as well as the development of new health-related conditions in morbidly obese patients.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The current estimates of the prevalence of adolescent morbid obesity and severe morbid obesity are about 21% and 6.6%, respectively. Obesity, if left untreated, may result in a variety of comorbid conditions and earlier mortality. Adolescent bariatric surgery is an effective, but expensive means to ameliorate these conditions and the risk of earlier mortality. We aimed to develop a model to evaluate the long-term cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery. Methods: All adolescents who participated in our bariatric surgery multidisciplinary program from January 2010 to December 2013 were included if they had at least 12 months follow-up after their surgery. Intervention costs included all operative as well as preoperative and 12-month postoperative care. We used the US Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) to estimate the association between reductions in BMI after surgery with future savings from reduced medical care use and with increased health-related quality of life (HRQL). We linked BMI with life expectancy using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Markov cohort model was then used to project health care-related costs (2013 US$), and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) over time starting at age 18. Incremental costs per QALY of surgery vs. no surgery from a health care system perspective were then estimated. Results: At one year follow-up, mean weight loss was 37.5 (std. = 13.5) kg and the corresponding BMI was 35.4 (reduction of 13.2, p<0.01). Mean total intervention costs/person were $25,854 (std. = 2,044). A unit change in BMI was associated with future medical care savings of $157/year (p<0.01) and with an increase in HRQL of 0.004 (p<0.01) and life expectancy. At a threshold of a 100,000/QALY, bariatric surgery was not cost-effective in the first three years, but became cost-effective after that ($80,065/QALY in year four and $36,570/QALY in year seven). Conclusion: Our results suggest that bariatric surgery among adolescents may be cost-effective when evaluated over a long period of time. Future studies on a large scale are needed to show a continued improvement in QALYs and to evaluate earlier cost-effectiveness of the procedure.
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