Weight Loss and Lipid Improvements Sustained After Eight Years, Says Longest Gastric Bypass Follow-up Study

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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.

Lead author of the study was Amy Shah, MD, a physician in the Division of Endocrinology at Cincinnati Children’s. Senior author was Tom Inge, MD, surgical director of the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens. The research was supported by a grant to Dr. Inge from Ethicon Endosurgery.


About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

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Jim Feuer