A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has suggested that undergoing bariatric surgery does not increase the life expectancy in men.
Researchers from the Durham VA Medical Center conducted the study in order to test whether bariatric surgery increased the life expectancy among high risk obesity patients. They conducted the study among 12 Veterans Affairs medical centers which included over 850 veterans who had undergone bariatric surgery between January 2000 and December 2006.
The veterans had an average age of 49.5 years and an average BMI of 47.4. The researchers compared them with a control group of over 41,000 who had not opted for the surgery and had an average age of 54.7 years and average BMI of 42.
The researchers followed them up until December 2008 and found that 1.5 percent of those who had opted for bariatric surgery had died in the first year compared to 2.2 percent in the second group and the number jumped to 6.8 percent in the first group compared to 15.2 percent in the second.
The researchers then included 1,694 propensity-matched patients who were similar to each other in many ways and found that bariatric surgery did not reduce the mortality significantly. "We demonstrated that risk adjustment with regression analysis resulted in a significant association of surgery and survival that was reduced when equivalence in baseline characteristics improved via propensity matching in this high-risk patient group", the researchers wrote.