If you know anything at all about bariatric surgery, you probably know that it is very effective at reducing mortality rates among those who are obese. Life expectancies are much higher with a bariatric surgery intervention. Despite the success of bariatric surgery in general, it is a prevalent belief that bariatric surgery is not effective at lowering mortality rates past 35.
In fact, an article that was recently released by The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that bariatric surgery is very effective for patients over 35. The recent study “Association of Patient Age at Gastric Bypass Surgery With Long-term All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality” demonstrated that bariatric surgery:
…improved long-term survival for all patients undergoing surgery at ages older than 35 years, with externally caused deaths only elevated in younger women. Gastric bypass surgery is protective against mortality even for older patients and also reduces the age-related increase in mortality observed in severely obese individuals not undergoing surgery. (Davidson LE, Adams TD, Kim J, et al, 2016)
The study compared 7925 patients who were given gastric bypass surgery (specifically Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery) with 7925 patients who did not undergo gastric bypass surgery. The participants fell into several age ranges: 35-44, 45-54, and 55-74. All the age ranges in the section that underwent the gastric bypass surgery experienced significant decrease in all-cause mortality compared to those who did not undergo the surgery.
We know that bariatric surgery can also help reduce the risk of health problems such as type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. The preparation involved in bariatric surgery can even detect pre-existing conditions in their early stages, and potentially save the patient’s life. Now this study has demonstrated that the health benefits extend to those who are entering the later stage of life.
Dr. Gagner has extensive experience in gastric bypass surgery, as well as other bariatric procedures. Take a look at the bariatric treatments that are available to you for more information. Each of these bariatric surgery options has the capacity to improve your overall health, resulting in a longer lifespan.
Davidson LE, Adams TD, Kim J, et al. Association of Patient Age at Gastric Bypass Surgery With Long-term All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Surg. Published online February 10, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.5501.