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Bariatric Surgery Could Worsen Depression in Obese

Update Date: Sep 27, 2014 12:10 AM EDT
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Bariatric surgery won't cure all obesity symptoms.

Most severely obese people experience improvement in their mental health after losing weight through diet, lifestyle changes or medical intervention. However, new research shows that this is not true for all patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine analyzed the levels of depression in patients six to 12 months after undergoing bariatric surgery. They wanted to see how likely bariatric patients would still experience depressive symptoms post gastric bypass surgery.

The latest study involved 107 patients with extreme obesity. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires before undergoing surgery, six months after surgery and 12 months post-surgery.

While most participants were happier six month and 12 months after surgery, 13.1 percent of patients reported feeling more depressed between six and 12 months and 3.7 percent felt significantly more depressed a year after surgery.

Researchers said that increases in depressive symptoms significantly increased the risk of developing lower levels of self-esteem and impaired social functioning.

"The majority of patients whose mood had worsened discernibly experienced these mood changes between six and 12 months post-surgery, suggesting this may be a critical period for early detection and intervention, as needed," researcher Valentina Ivezaj said in a news release.

"The increases in symptoms of depression are also notable given that they were associated with other difficulties including lower self-esteem and social functioning," co-researcher Carlos Grilo concluded.

The findings are published in the journal Obesity Surgery.

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