HealthDay News — Bariatric surgery is associated with longer life expectancy than usual care among patients with obesity, according to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Lena M.S. Carlsson, MD, PhD, from Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues compared mortality and life expectancy among patients treated with bariatric surgery or usual obesity care to examine the impact of bariatric surgery on life expectancy. A total of 2007 patients were included in the surgery group and 2040 in the control group; they were compared to a reference cohort of 1135 individuals from the general population.

At the time of the analysis, the median duration of follow-up for mortality was 24 and 22 years in the surgery and control groups, respectively, and 20 years in the reference cohort. The researchers found that 22.8% and 26.4% of patients in the surgery and control groups died (hazard ratio, 0.77), with hazard ratios of 0.70 and 0.77 for deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer, respectively. The surgery group had an adjusted median life expectancy of 3.0 years longer than the control group but 5.5 years shorter than the general population.

“When viewed in the context of life-years gained with a variety of interventions in populations at elevated risk, the three-year mean prolongation of life after bariatric surgery in our study is large,” the authors write.


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Two authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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