June 06, 2016
2 min read

Bariatric surgery reduces all-cause mortality in obesity

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Patients with obesity who do not undergo bariatric surgery have a higher all-cause mortality rate than those who undergo bariatric surgery, according to study findings presented at the European Obesity Summit.

Christina E. Persson, MPH, a PhD candidate in the department of molecular and clinical medicine at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues evaluated data from the Swedish Patient Registry for patients who visited a hospital with a principal diagnosis of obesity between 2000 and 2011 to determine the overall mortality in participants with obesity who did and did not undergo bariatric surgery. There were 48,693 participants aged 18 to 74 years; 22,581 underwent bariatric surgery (92.8% gastric bypass). Mean follow-up was 5.4 years for the surgical group and 5.5 years for the nonsurgical group.

The nonsurgical group had a higher mortality rate (4.21%; 7.7 deaths/1,000 person-years) compared with the surgical group (1.11%; 2.1 deaths/1,000 person-years). Compared with the nonsurgical group, overall mortality decreased by 57% in the surgical group (age-adjusted HR = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.37-0.5).

Cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death in the nonsurgical group, followed by cancer. External causes of mortality (ie, accidents and suicide) were the most common cause of death in the surgical group, followed by CVD and cancer. Although external causes were the main causes of death in the surgical group, the incidences remained lower than those in the nonsurgical group.

“The implication is that we can see a reduced morality in the surgical obese compared to the nonsurgical obese, and that these differences lie mainly in CVD and cancer, which goes in line with previous studies,” Persson told Endocrine Today. “Although it is well known that severe obesity carries many adverse health effects, and that bariatric surgery reverses many of these, we need to know much more about those who do not undergo surgery. What are the barriers? How can people who do not opt for surgery be helped?” – by Amber Cox

For more information:

Christina E. Persson , MPH, can be reached at Institution of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgranska University Hospital/Östra Hospital, Diagnosvägen 11 SE 416 50 Gothenburg, Sweden; email: Christina.persson.2@gu.se.


Persson CE, et al. Poster P02.174. Presented at: European Obesity Summit; June 1-4, 2016; Gothenburg, Sweden.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.