Gastric bypass surgery could extend your life up to three years, said researchers from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in Ohio, especially if you’re morbidly obese. Using a computer-based model, the study demonstrated that a 42-year old woman and a 44-year old man, both with a body mass index (BMI) of 45, would have lived an additional 2.95 years and 2.57 years, respectively, after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
“There is evidence from large controlled trials and numerous case series that bariatric surgery is currently the only effective therapy for promoting clinically significant weight loss and improving obesity-associated conditions among adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher…” said Daniel P. Schauer, MD, MSc in the study published in the January issues of the Archives of Surgery.
Using data from more than 399,000 participants in the 1991–1996 National Health Interview Surgery, the researchers calculated the effect of bariatric surgery on excess mortality (defined as death associated with obesity). With both men and women, both age and BMI played the most important role in determining the benefit of increased life expectancy. The younger and more obese, the more benefit derived from bariatric surgery.
While there were some limitations with the study, including life expectancy being the only outcome considered, regardless of quality of life, the researchers said that their study will be able to assist surgeons in determining which patients might derive the most benefit from weight loss surgery. They stated: “We believe results of this analysis can be used to better inform both patients’ and physicians’ decisions regarding gastric bypass surgery.”