Bariatric surgery 'can improve mobility and cut walking pain in teens'

21 July 2016

A new study has shed light on the potential quality of life benefits that bariatric surgery can deliver for overweight and obese teenagers.

Carried out by the University of Minnesota Medical School, the study looked at 242 patients aged 19 years or younger who underwent weight loss surgery from 2007 to 2012 at five US adolescent bariatric surgery centres.

Six months after surgery, the time the patients took to complete a 400-metre walk improved from an average of 376 seconds to 347 seconds, with resting heart rates improving from an average of 84 beats per minute (bpm) to 74 bpm, while post-test heart rate declined from 128 bpm to 113 bpm.

These changes were all shown to persist at one and two years after surgery, while concerns about musculoskeletal pain were reduced at all points throughout the study.

It shows that weight loss surgery can be useful in addressing the mobility limitations and reduced physical activity that obesity-related musculoskeletal pain can cause.

The researchers concluded: "Whether these positive changes in functional mobility and musculoskeletal pain persist over the long term and lead to further improvements in cardiometabolic risk requires evaluation."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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