Weight loss surgery may increase bone fracture risk

In a new study, researchers found that people who undergo weight loss surgery may face a higher risk of bone fractures.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Gothenburg.

The study included 2,007 Swedish patients with obesity who were treated with weight loss surgery (either gastric bypass, gastric banding, or vertical banded gastroplasty) and 2,040 matched patients who did not undergo surgery.

Over a follow-up of between 15 and 18 years for the different treatment groups, the highest rate for fractures was seen in the gastric bypass group.

The team found the rates were 22.9 per 1,000 person-years in this group, compared with 10.4, 10.7, and 9.3 per 1,000 person-years for the vertical banded gastroplasty, gastric banding, and control groups, respectively.

The fracture risk in the gastric bypass group was 2.58-times higher than in the control group, 1.99-times higher than in the gastric banding group, and 2.15-times higher than in the vertical banded gastroplasty group.

These findings show that gastric bypass surgery increases the long-term risk of fracture, both compared with non-surgical obesity care and compared two other bariatric surgery methods used in the study.

Increased risk of fracture is a serious side effect that should be taken into account when selecting surgical procedures.

It should also be kept in mind during post-operative follow-up in patients who have undergone gastric bypass.

The lead author of the study is Sofie Ahlin, MD, Ph.D. from the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden.

The study is published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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