Weight loss surgery is not only an option to consider if you are obese and want to lose weight, but a new study suggests that weight-loss surgery increases lifespan.
A study that included more than 4,000 obese individuals who had obesity or bariatric surgery, lived about 3 years longer than those who did not. However, life expectancy was about 6 years less than for non-obese individuals.
This study results were published Oct. 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Our finding will help patients to make an informed choice when considering obesity treatment,” said researcher Dr. Peter Jacobson. Obesity is steady increasing in the United States and doctors should consider all safe options with their patients.
“Most of the remaining mortality after surgery is from diseases which are preventable,” said Jacobson, of Sweden.
Control your cardio, live longer!
According to Jacobson, controlling our cardiovascular risks such as blood pressure and cholesterol is key to living longer. Proper diet and exercise also play a huge role in our health.
Weight loss surgery increases lifespan
In the study, researchers gathered data on patients who took part in the Swedish Obese Subjects Study. For an average of 20 years, the patients were followed by researchers. Over those years, 23% of the patients who had weight-loss surgery passed away, while 26% died who did not have surgery.
In the surgery group, BMI (body mass index) decreased by 11 points on average in the year after the surgery. There was some weight regain up till year eight, after which BMI maintained at about 7 points below baseline.
Doctors be aware!
Heart disease and cancer were the most common causes of death, the researchers analyzed.
“We hope this information increases the awareness among doctors about the importance of offering appropriate follow-up after obesity surgery,” Jacobson said.
Dr. Mitchell Roslin is chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Reviewing the findings, Roslin said, “It is clear that bariatric surgery is underutilized.”
“Life expectancy could have been longer if you substitute more effective operations than the gastric band,” Morton said. “But there is a legacy effect of carrying extra weight. Even though you get the weight off, there may be some lingering effects from carrying that extra weight.”
The longer you remain heavy, the more chronic conditions you develop and the harder they are to get rid of, Morton said.
The bottom line
Weight loss surgery does carry some risk factors but if weight-loss surgery increases lifespan, it may be worth a discussion with your doctor.
Source: “Weight-Loss Surgery Lengthens Life Span, Study Shows” www.usnews.com October 14, 2020