11 February 2016
A new study has highlighted the potential life-prolonging benefits that weight loss surgery can deliver for older patients.
The research from Brigham Young University in Utah aimed to examine whether gastric bypass surgery can be equally effective in reducing mortality in patients undergoing surgery at different ages.
While it is established that bariatric surgery can reduce long-term mortality risks, it was not previously known whether this benefit was attainable by people of all ages. For this study, a cohort of 7,925 patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery were assessed by age and compared to 7,925 severely obese individuals who did not receive surgery.
It was found that surgery was associated with improved long-term survival for all patients undergoing surgery at ages older than 35 years. A similar benefit was not observed among younger patients, but this was attributed to a significantly higher number of deaths caused by external factors.
The researchers concluded: "This study implies that gastric bypass surgery is protective against mortality even for patients who undergo surgery at an older age. Gastric bypass surgery also reduces the age-related increase in mortality risk compared with severely obese individuals who do not undergo surgery."
Posted by Philip Briggs
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