January 19, 2010
Gastric Bypass Benefit For Morbidly Obese

University of Cincinnati researchers found that gastric bypass surgery increases average life expectancy of the morbidly obese by 3 years.

Researchers led by Daniel Schauer, an assistant professor of medicine at UC, found the surgery added three years to the life expectancy of the average morbidly obese gastric bypass patient - a 42-year-old woman with a body mass index (BMI) of 45.

The benefits were greatest for younger patients.

The efficacy of surgery in reducing mortality was less important for older men, the analysis also showed. A 75-year-man with a BMI of 35 could expect only a very slight gain in life span -- perhaps one or two months.

"Younger patients have lower surgical risk and more time over which to realize the benefits of surgery. For older patients, the gain is smaller, and for some, gastric bypass surgery will decrease life expectancy," Schauer and colleagues wrote.

Mind you, surgical teams that do a lot of these procedures probably do so at lower risk. Since some people die due to complications of the surgery one needs to weigh the risks against the potential benefits.

Type 2 diabetes combined with obesity might also justify gastric bypass.

Jan 18, 2010 Recent research shows surgical weight loss procedures like gastric banding and gastric bypass can help more type 2 diabetics manage, and potentially cure, their disease. In a study reviewed by the Diabetes Surgery Summit Consensus Conference, weight loss surgery was shown to help type 2 diabetics with a body mass index, also called BMI, of 30 or more control their disease. Surgery was previously recommended as an option to treat only those with a BMI of 35 or higher. The summit revised its recommendations for surgical treatment to include suitable candidates with a BMI between 30 and 35.

Gastric bypass cures type 2 diabetes in many overweight patients.

An Australian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008 found that 73 percent of type 2 diabetics with BMIs between 30 and 40 were cured of the disease after receiving an adjustable gastric band. Just 13 percent of patients in the study achieved the same result with conventional therapies.

We really need safer ways to control appetite and weight.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 January 19 12:09 AM  Aging Weight Studies

Lono said at January 19, 2010 7:46 AM:

Well - from the overview of evidence I have seen on many of these cases - it's not so much over eating as improper eating.

Many of these individuals are just too uneducated to realize that they could eat ten lean turkey sandwiches for every big mac they eat, etc...

I wonder if the Govt. wouldn't save money with these individuals by just providing more nutitionists to help low income citizens make a workable and enjoyable weekly meal plan.

Of course - then you go down the slippery slope of the nanny state - and if a country wants to remain free it must allow people to fail - and in most of these cases it is simply a failure of making correct choices - since they could over eat with healthier choices and not be morbidly obese but simply be somewhat over weight.

I do agree with you, Randall, that in a Brave New World kind of way these individuals could be treated with a Govt. supplied appetite suppresant in the near future - but - in a way - wouldn't that be kind of a defeat for society as a whole?

Xenophon Hendrix said at January 19, 2010 6:35 PM:

Please, it's not strictly an IQ or self-control thing. It's also having a physiology that evolved under pre-modern conditions. You might as well be arguing that antibiotics make people weak.

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