Eighty to 90% of adolescents benefit from permanent weight loss after bariatric surgery, and most experience remission from obesity-related complications such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and musculoskeletal pain. In a new study published in Obesity, researchers at Children's Colorado Children's Hospital showed that remission from obesity-related complications other than cholesterol and triglyceride levels did not depend on major sustained weight loss. Rather, the majority of adolescents benefited from remission from obesity-related complications, an observation that was independent of whether or not they had lost a significant amount of weight.
"We see the results of this study as very encouraging," said Dr. Sarkis Christopher (Chris) Derderian, Pediatric Surgery Fellow at Children's Colorado. "Because the extent of weight loss does not seem to hamper sustained remission of many obesity-related complications, the study supports the myriad benefits of bariatric surgery for severely obese adolescents. These patients may frequently stop taking drugs for type 2 diabetes high blood pressure after surgery. Not only does this dramatically improve the quality of life, but it can also offset the cost of treating such complications over time if the cost of treating such complications is no longer incurred. "
In the study, Derderian and colleagues compared the remission rates of obesity-related complications in two groups of patients: those who lost less than 20% of total body weight five years after surgery and those who lost all of their body weight 20% or more was the same period. All 192 study participants were part of a multicenter study conducted by researchers from Children's Colorado, known as the Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS).
In particular, the researchers found that 40.6% of the study participants had a total body weight loss of <20% and 59.4% had a total body weight loss of> 20% after five years. While the latter group saw greater improvement in their cholesterol levels, remission of other complications appeared to be independent of whether or not participants achieved greater sustained weight loss.
"If you look at the relationship between the extent of weight loss and the health benefits achieved, it is clear that patients' health improves, regardless of whether or not they experience significant weight loss in the long term after the operation," said Thomas H. Inge . MD, Ph.D., Principal Researcher at Teen-LABS and Director of Pediatric Surgery and the Bariatric Center in Children's Colorado. "While this study is incredibly promising, additional research is needed to determine whether the same benefits are achieved in patients who experience only five to 10% weight loss over time. Nonetheless, this study supports the recognition of bariatric surgery as the most effective intervention to promote significant and permanent weight loss in adolescents with severe obesity. "