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Obes Surg 22:749-763.
Center for Health Care Research and Policy, MetroHealth Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
BACKGROUND: Bariatric surgery is the most effective weight loss treatment, yet few studies have reported on short- and long-term outcomes postsurgery.
METHODS: Using claims data from seven Blue Cross/Blue Shield health plans serving seven states, we conducted a non-concurrent, matched cohort study. We followed 22,693 persons who underwent bariatric surgery during 2003-2007 and were enrolled at least 6 months before and after surgery. Using logistic regression, we compared serious and less serious adverse clinical outcomes, hospitalizations, planned procedures, and obesity-related co-morbidities between groups for up to 5 years.
RESULTS: Relative to controls, surgery patients were more likely to experience a serious [odds ratio (OR) 1.9; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8-2.0] or less serious (OR 2.5, CI 2.4-2.7) adverse clinical outcome or hospitalization (OR 1.3, CI 1.3-1.4) at 1 year postsurgery. The risk remained elevated until 4 years postsurgery for serious events and 5 years for less serious outcomes and hospitalizations. Some complication rates were lower for patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery. Planned procedures, such as skin reduction, peaked in postsurgery year 2 but remained elevated through year 5. Surgery patients had a 55% decreased risk of obesity-related co-morbidities, such as type 2 diabetes, in the first year postsurgery, which remained low throughout the study (year 5: OR 0.4, CI 0.4-0.5).
CONCLUSIONS: While bariatric surgery is associated with a higher risk of adverse clinical outcomes compared to controls, it also substantially decreased obesity-related co-morbidities during the 5-year follow-up.
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