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Bariatric surgery among older, high-risk patients not associated with reduced mortality
Date:6/12/2011

educed mortality. However, in further analysis that included 1,694 propensity-matched patients (using a statistical approach to compare patients who appear to be "similar" in many ways, except for one of the matched patients having had the operation), bariatric surgery was not significantly associated with reduced mortality.

"Our results highlight the importance of statistical adjustment and careful selection of surgical and nonsurgical cohorts, particularly during evaluation of bariatric surgery according to administrative data. Previous studies claiming a survival benefit for bariatric surgery had limited clinical information to conduct detailed risk adjustment or matching. The survival differences between the bariatric surgery and control groups were modest in most previous studies, so the beneficial effects of surgery may have been attenuated if adjustment for confounders had been possible. We demonstrated that risk adjustment with regression analysis resulted in a significant association of surgery and survival that was reduced when equivalence in baseline characteristics improved via propensity matching in this high-risk patient group," the authors write.

The researchers add that even though bariatric surgery is not associated with reduced mortality among older male patients, many patients may still choose to undergo bariatric surgery, given the strong evidence for significant reductions in body weight and co-existing illnesses and improved quality of life.


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Contact: Pete Tillman
Peter.Tillman@va.gov
919-286-6986
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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