Higher average life expectancy after obesity surgery

October 14, 2020

People who have undergone obesity (bariatric) surgery live three years longer, on average, than those given conventional treatment for their obesity, a University of Gothenburg study shows. Compared with the general population, however, both groups' excess mortality is high.

The results published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) are based on the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study, which started in 1987 and is led from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

The study comprises data on 2,007 adult patients who had undergone bariatric surgery and a control group of 2,040 given conventional (nonsurgical) treatment for obesity. Also included was a representative reference group of 1,135 people from the general population.

Among those who underwent surgery, estimated average life expectancy was 3.0 years longer than in people treated with non-surgical obesity care, but 5.5 years shorter than in the general population.

It has been known for some time that bariatric surgery brings about lasting weight loss and lowered risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, leading to lower mortality. On the other hand, to what extent this translates to extension of life expectancy after bariatric surgery has been unknown.

Dr. Lena Carlsson Ekander, Professor of Clinical Metabolic Research at Sahlgrenska Academy, has been responsible for the SOS study since 2005 and is the lead author of the article.

"Now, for the first time, we've got a measure of how much bariatric surgery prolongs life expectancy for the average patient. But it's important to point out that it's a matter of averages. Not all patients are the same, so you can't draw the conclusion that everyone who gets the operation done lives three years longer," she says. Despite the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery -- the reduced risk of worsening health and premature death -- still only a minority of the patients eligible for surgery actually undergo an operation. The researchers emphasize the importance of patients getting appropriate information to make an informed choice when considering obesity treatment.

"In this study, we investigated mortality over as long as three decades. In addition, we estimated life expectancy after bariatric surgery and regular obesity treatment and compared it with life expectancy in the general population," Dr. Carlsson Ekander says.

"Obesity has long been known to reduce average life expectancy by some five to ten years. Our study shows that bariatric surgery prolongs it by three years. But even after surgery, patients still have a shorter life expectancy than the general population. That's why it's very important for bariatric patients to be offered adequate postoperative monitoring and follow-up," she concludes.
-end-
Title:
Life Expectancy after Bariatric Surgery in the Swedish Obese Subjects Study
https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2002449

Contacts:

Dr. Lena Carlsson Ekander (MD, PhD)
+46 706 791 154
lena.carlsson@medic.gu.se

Dr. Peter Jacobson (MD, PhD)
+46 733 89 89 18
peter.jacobson@vgregion.se

University of Gothenburg

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.