Weight-loss surgery not risky in elderly over 65, shows study
Metabolic surgery is an effective tool to not only counter the global health epidemic of Obesity but also an effective intervention strategy to avoid debilitating complications of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss surgery is usually not recommended for obese adults over 65, due to perceived increased risk. Moreover published data on the efficacy of bariatric surgery in the older age groups are scant.
Researchers at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi in the UAE have conducted a study that indicates that elderly patients treated with bariatric surgery can recover well and have a reduced risk of obesity-related complications, including heart disease and diabetes.
While weight-loss surgeries are not usually performed in people above the age of 65, the new study shows that these procedures can lead to successful weight loss and better diabetes control in older adults. The study has been presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Brighton, UK.
Dr Nader Lessan and study co-author Dr Saradalekshmi Radha, both from the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi in the UAE, assessed the results of 22 patients who had attended their medical centre and who had undergone weight loss surgery after the age of 65. Two years after weight-loss surgery, the patients had, on average, lost 24% of their original body weight. In addition, of the 11 patients who had been on insulin to control their type 2 diabetes, four no longer needed it, while for others, the total insulin dose required had significantly decreased. The only adverse effects reported during the two year period were iron and vitamin D deficiencies, which happen in younger patients too.
Dr Lessan states, "Although based on a small number of patients, our data suggest that successful weight loss and improved diabetes control can be safely achieved with surgery in older patients, which could have real benefits for their longevity and quality of life."
As this study was retrospectively using the limited data available, the next step would be to conduct a prospective, observational study among the older population. Then we could more effectively compare outcomes of surgery with other interventions such as medication or lifestyle modifications.
Dr Lessan comments, "Management of obesity and diabetes in old age is challenging. There is a lot of scepticism around conducting weight-loss surgery in patients over 65. Our study suggests these procedures could be considered in older adults as an effective intervention to aid weight loss and associated complications.
For further reference log on to :
Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference 2019 Abstract P215