HealthDay News — Mental health outcomes do not appear to improve for obese adolescents undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, according to a study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Kajsa Järvholm, PhD, from Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden, and colleagues recruited adolescents aged 13 to 18 years with a body mass index of 40 kg/m² or higher or 35 kg/m² or higher in addition to obesity-related comorbidity who had failed comprehensive conservative treatment. Mental health outcomes were compared over 5 years of follow up for 81 adolescents who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and 80 controls who received conventional treatment.

The researchers observed no difference between the groups in the proportion of participants prescribed psychiatric drugs in the years before study inclusion or after the intervention. Before baseline, no difference was noted between the groups in treatment for mental and behavioral disorders. In the 5 years after obesity treatment, adolescents in the surgical group had more specialized psychiatric treatment than those in the control group. Few patients discontinued psychiatric treatment after surgery. In the surgical group, self-esteem was improved after 5 years versus baseline, but no improvement was seen in overall mood. Relative to baseline, binge eating was improved at 5 years.

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“We suggest that long-term mental health support should be required in programs providing adolescent metabolic and bariatric surgery,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.

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