Depression and Binge Eating More Prominent Among Weight Loss Surgery Patients

by Reshma Anand on Jan 14 2016 4:27 PM

Depression and Binge Eating More Prominent Among Weight Loss Surgery Patients
Post-operative complications of bariatric surgery were found to be mental health problems like depression and binge eating disorders, revealed a new study.
A study published in JAMA showed that people who opt for weight loss surgery were more prone to mental health problems after the procedure.

Researchers analyzed 68 studies, wherein 59 studies involving 65 363 patients examined about the prevalence of preoperative mental health conditions while 27 involving 50 182 patients examined about the associations between preoperative mental health conditions and postoperative outcomes.

They found that 23% of patients seeking and undergoing bariatric surgery had a current mood disorder, with 19% reporting depression and 17% with binge eating disorder.

“Both estimates are higher than published rates for the general U.S. population, suggesting that special attention should be paid to these conditions among bariatric patients. Other mental health conditions, such as psychosis, PTSD, and personality disorders are less common but may be more prominent in select subgroups such as U.S. Veterans,” noted the researchers.

However, bariatric surgery was consistently associated with an 8% to 74% decrease in prevalence of depression in 7 studies and a 40% to 70% decrease in the severity of depressive symptoms in 6 studies.

“Future studies would benefit from including these characteristics as well as having clear eligibility criteria, standardized instruments, regular measurement intervals, and transparency with respect to time-specific follow-up rates. By addressing these methodological issues, future work can help to identify the optimal strategy for evaluating patients' mental health prior to bariatric surgery,” they concluded.

Reference: Dawes AJ, Maggard-Gibbons M, Maher AR, et al. “Mental Health Conditions Among Patients Seeking and Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: A Meta-analysis,”JAMA. 2016;315(2):150-163. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.18118.


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