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Bariatric Surgery May Be Cost-Effective in Severely Obese Teens

Long-term clinical trials in adolescents with at least five years of follow-up data needed

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WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery not only helps severely obese teens lose weight, it may pay for itself in health care savings over time, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in JAMA Surgery.

Chin Hur, M.D., M.P.H., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues compared health care costs for 228 severely obese teens, average age 17, who did or did not have bariatric surgery.

The researchers calculated that while bariatric surgery was not cost-effective over three years following the procedure, it could become cost-effective over five years.

"This study underscores the need for long-term clinical trials in adolescents with at least five years of follow-up data that capture financial and quality-of-life end points," the authors write.

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