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For Gastric Bypass Patients, Percent of Weight Loss Depends on Race/Ethnicity

Update Date: Jun 24, 2014 09:04 AM EDT
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Non-Hispanic white patients who underwent a gastric bypass procedure lost a bit more weight over three-year period than Hispanic or black patients, according to a new study. 

The study also examined two types of bariatric surgery and concluded that patients who underwent now common gastric bypass procedure lost more weight over the same period than those who underwent the more recently developed vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure. 

Statistically, at three years following gastric bypass surgery, non-Hispanic white patients lost 63 percent of their excess weight; Hispanic patients lost 59 percent; and black patients lost 56 percent, according to the press release. 

The study further noted that overall, gastric bypass patients lost an average of 59 percent of excess weight (an average 81.5 pounds) and vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients lost an average of 46 percent (57.6 pounds) after three years of follow-up.

"Studies have shown that bariatric surgery is associated with sustainable weight loss for patients with extreme obesity, but there is very little research to show how these procedures affect persons of different races and ethnicities, especially in the long term," said study lead author Karen J. Coleman, PhD, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation in the press release. "To address the current gaps in the knowledge about bariatric surgery, we created a registry of patients who underwent surgery to monitor quality and safety outcomes and assist clinicians who are caring for these patients after their surgery."

"Even though some patients may not lose as much weight as others, the weight regain rate at three years is still very low for all patients, regardless of their racial or ethnic background. This supports the success of bariatric surgery for weight control in persons who have extreme obesity," added Coleman. "We believe our study provides an opportunity for health care providers to potentially develop more culturally sensitive post-surgical programs to improve success rates for populations struggling with weight loss."

The study has been published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

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