Bariatric Surgery Lowers Mortality Rate in Obese Patients

Patients with obesity who underwent bariatric surgery had a 57% lower mortality rate than those who do not have surgery, according to a new study from Sweden.

The researchers presented the findings of their study at the European Association for the Study of Obesity’s European Obesity Summit 2016.

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It is well known that obesity causes mortality in various diseases, and previous research has shown that bariatric surgery can help reduce patients’ mortality rate by helping them lose weight. However, population-based prospective studies examining the overall mortality rates in patients who undergo surgery are lacking.

For their study, the researchers analyzed data from a cohort that included 48,693 patients aged 18 to 74 years who had a principal diagnosis of obesity in the Swedish Patient Registry from 2000 to 2011. Of the total, 22,581 patients underwent bariatric surgery.

After a median follow-up of 5.4 years, researchers found that the surgical group had a lower mortality rate than the nonsurgical group (1.11% vs 4.21%). Patients who underwent bariatric surgery reduced their mortality rate by 57% compared with those who did not undergo surgery, regardless of age, sex, comorbidities, or other factors.

“This population-based cohort study indicates that the overall all-cause mortality is considerably lower among obese individuals who undergo bariatric surgery compared to nonsurgical obese individuals,” the researchers concluded.

—Amanda Balbi


Persson CE, Björck L, Lagergren J, Lappas G, Rosengren A. Reduced overall mortality following bariatric surgery. Presented at: European Obesity Summit 2016; June 1-3, 2016; Gothenburg, Sweden. Accessed June 3, 2016.