People who go through weight loss surgery, medically called bariatric surgery can increase up to three years in their lives, as compared to other obese people who try to manage their weight without surgery. The new study from the researchers at the University of Gothenburg explains that obese people are at the highest risk of death otherwise, and finding options that may increase their life expectancy is highly desirable.
The complete details of this study are published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
The study used the results of a previous study from 1987, called “Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study”. This study was conducted by the research teams from the University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska Academy.
The researchers analyzed data obtained from 2007 obese people who opted for weight loss surgery. Their health outcomes were compared to a control group comprising of 2,040 participants who were prescribed some non-surgical methods to treat obesity. In addition to this, this experiment included general representation from the public, comprised of 1,135 participants.
People who were treated with bariatric surgery experienced three years more than average life as compared to the control group. But together, these two groups happened to live nearly 5.5 years lesser than the general, non-obese people.
It is a common assumption that weight loss surgery reduces the weight and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and diabetes. But how it changes a person’s life expectancy was not clear before this study.
Dr. Lena Carlsson Ekander from Sahlgrenska Academy was behind the SOS and is the lead researcher and author of this new study. According to her, this is the first-ever time that a study has analyzed the efficacy and long-term effects of bariatric surgery. It has never done before but understanding how it changes a person’s life is remarkable.
Yet, not all patients are the same which is why nothing conclusive can be told about this surgery. There are multiple factors that may increase or decrease this life expectancy. It is only a general assumption that most people live longer than other, non-surgically treated patients.
Despite having so many benefits for obese patients, not many people opt for weight loss surgery. In addition to this, many obese patients are not recommended surgery by their physicians for various underlying reasons which make them unfit for the surgery. The researchers have highlighted another reason for bariatric surgery being unpopular which is an uninformed decision. Most patients are never fully informed about the available choices especially the surgery so they don’t really think about it.
This study has investigated the mortality rate of obese and non-obese patients for nearly three decades. The results presented by this study have been calculated after going through thousands of people and present an almost perfect picture of obesity ridden people.
Obesity, if not treated invites a number of health problems and reduces life expectancy which could be up to ten years. But if the patients opt for surgical treatment, they can add years to their life. The research also highlights that physicians should make sure to offer complete information on all possible treatments for an obese patient.