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Does fracture risk differ between 2 common types of weight-loss surgery?

May 15, 2019

Bottom Line: This study used Medicare claims data to compare risk of fracture among about 42,000 patients who had weight-loss surgery. Nearly 30,000 patients (average age 51) who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) were compared with nearly 13,000 patients (average age 55) who had adjustable gastric banding. Over an average follow-up of 3½ years, there were 658 nonvertebral fractures, such as to the wrist, pelvis, upper arm and hip among the patients. The study reports patients who had RYGB had increased risk of fracture compared with patients who had adjustable gastric banding. A limitation of the study is that a large proportion of the study group was eligible for Medicare because of a disability; patients younger than 65 with certain disabilities are eligible for Medicare. Fracture risk may be an unintended consequence of RYGB surgery, which is otherwise associated with many health benefits, and this should be discussed with patients.

Authors: Elaine W. Yu, M.D., M.M.Sc., Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.1157)

Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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