Weight loss surgery linked to this mental disease, study finds

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Researchers have found a correlation between gastric bypass surgery and a heightened risk of non-alcohol substance use disorder, as outlined in a new study published in the journal Obesity.

The study demonstrated that non-alcohol substance use disorder was 2.5 times more frequent after gastric bypass surgery compared to individuals receiving typical obesity care, although the overall number of patients with non-alcohol substance use disorder was relatively low.

“Health care professionals should consider the risk of non-alcohol substance use disorder in the care of patients treated with gastric bypass surgery,” stated Professor Per-Arne Svensson, Ph.D., the study’s corresponding author.

A known side effect of bariatric surgery is an elevated intoxication level after alcohol consumption.

Additionally, previous studies have noted an increased incidence of alcohol abuse following gastric bypass surgery.

Recently, it’s been observed that substances other than alcohol have been over consumed after bariatric surgery.

The current study, the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study, included 2,010 patients with obesity who underwent bariatric surgery, including 265 patients who received gastric bypass.

In total, 2,037 control individuals received usual obesity care. The participants were identified through the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) from the Swedish National Patient Register (NPR).

The study spanned from September 1987 to January 2001, with a follow-up period of nearly 24 years.

Only gastric bypass surgery was associated with an increased incidence of non-alcohol substance use disorder compared to control participants.

The most common diagnoses were other psychoactive substance-related disorders and opioid-related disorders.

Jihad Kudsi, MD, a bariatric surgeon not associated with the study, commented on the findings, “These significant findings further reinforce the recommendations of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and highlight the critical role of bariatric behavioral health clinicians in the comprehensive evaluation and care of patients both before and after weight-loss surgery.”

The authors of the study recommended further research to explore this risk.

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The study was published in Obesity.

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