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Bariatric Surgery Increases Longevity for Obese

Studies show that surgical patients lose more weight and live longer than non-surgical patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In severely obese patients, bariatric surgery leads to sustained weight loss and reduces the risk of death, according to two studies published in the Aug. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Lena M.S. Carlsson, M.D., Ph.D., of Gothenburg University in Sweden, and colleagues compared outcomes in 2,010 patients who underwent bariatric surgery and 2,037 control patients who received conventional treatment. The investigators found that the surgical patients lost 14 percent to 25 percent of their body weight after 10 years while the control group's change in body weight was less than plus or minus 2 percent. The surgical group also had a lower adjusted risk of death (hazard ratio, 0.71), the report indicates.

Ted D. Adams, Ph.D., of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, and colleagues compared outcomes in 9,949 patients who underwent bariatric surgery and 9,628 controls. After a mean follow-up of 7.1 years, the researchers found that the adjusted long-term mortality from any cause was 40 percent lower in the surgical group.

These studies "show that weight loss saves lives in obese patients," states the author of an accompanying editorial. "Thus, the question as to whether intentional weight loss improves life span has been answered, and the answer appears to be a resounding yes."

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