Effectiveness of Bariatric Surgery in Reducing Weight and Body Mass Index Among Hispanic Adolescents
Ethnic minority adolescents, Hispanics in particular, are disproportionately affected by extreme obesity and its associated co-morbidities. Bariatric surgery is one of the few effective treatments for morbid obesity, yet little information about weight outcomes after surgery in this demographic are available. We determined the effectiveness of bariatric surgery in reducing weight and body mass index (BMI) in adolescents, a majority of whom were non-Mexican American Hispanic and originated from Central and/or South America and the Caribbean Basin region.
Adolescents (16-to-19 years old) who had undergone gastric bypass or adjustable gastric band surgery between 2001 and 2010 and who had complete follow-up data available (91 %) were included in the analysis. Mean weight and BMI before and 1-year after surgery were compared.
Among 71 adolescents (80 % Hispanic, 77 % female), mean BMI and weight, and z-scores and percentile transformations were all significantly lower after surgery for the entire sample (P < 0.001). Gastric bypass surgery showed significantly better weight loss outcomes for all anthropometric measures versus adjustable gastric band surgery (P < 0.05). Weight loss was similar among Hispanics and non-Hispanics. No peri-operative complications were reported. Three patients who stopped taking supplements as prescribed experienced iron deficiency anemia within the year following surgery.
Our results show that bariatric surgery, gastric bypass procedure in particular, can markedly reduce weight among a predominantly Hispanic adolescent patient sample. These findings indicate that bariatric surgery has the potential to be safe and effective in substantially reducing weight in a group of adolescents who are at a particularly high risk for obesity-related health consequences.