Eight years after having gastric bypass surgery as teenagers, patients continue to have significant weight loss and improvement in their lipid profiles.
In a study to be presented Nov. 10 at the annual American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center found that body mass index decreased by 32 percent. In addition, the percent of participants with dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol, triglycerides or both) decreased from 85.7 percent at baseline to 38.3 percent after eight years.
"Those who did not undergo surgery experienced weight gain and no improvement in co-morbidities over time," says Elaine Urbina, MD, a cardiologist at Cincinnati Children's who will present the study at the AHA meeting. "These findings highlight the concerning long-term health trajectory for those with severe pediatric obesity and suggest that bariatric surgery can meaningfully and durably improve long-term outcomes in teens with this disease."
The researchers studied 50 surgical patients with an average age of 17 and compared them to 30 patients with an average age of 15 who were offered participation in a medically supervised weight management program. Of those non-surgical patients, only eight continued to participate in the program after 12 months. Among all 30 non-surgical patients, body mass index increased by 6.2 percent after eight years, and lipids were unchanged.
The eight-year follow-up study is believed to be the longest follow-up study after gastric bypass surgery ever conducted. The researchers are now studying whether lipid improvements translate into reductions in atherosclerosis (a thickening and hardening of the arteries) and a decrease in cardiovascular disease over time.