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Gene Test May Help Predict Success of Weight-Loss Surgery
Date:5/2/2013

ause it does so much," Kaplan said.

Kaplan's team is developing a test to look for patterns in gene activity that he says will be available within a year. It will take a few years beyond that to validate the test and secure U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, he added.

Such a test could help patients who are on the fence about having the weight-loss procedure, he said. Gastric bypass can be very beneficial for severely obese people, but also carries some risk, especially for those with other significant health problems.

Further studies are needed to clarify the role of the genetic variation identified in the study and, because most of this study's participants were of European descent, to look for other variants that might apply to different ethnic groups.

Kaplan said he also wants to see if they might get the same results with other kinds of weight-loss procedures.

"Genetics makes a contribution to weight loss after surgery. This has put the wind in our sails so now we can go after other questions," he said.

More information

For more information about weight-loss surgery, visit the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

SOURCES: Lee Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., director, Obesity, Metabolism, & Nutrition Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Molly Bray, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham; May 2, 2013, American Journal of Human Genetics


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