, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 371-377
Date: 01 Jun 2003

Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients Seeking Gastric Bypass Surgery vs Non-Treatment-Seeking Controls

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Background: Previous research has found that health-related quality of life (HRQOL) differs among obese individuals depending on treatment-seeking status, with greater impairments found in obese individuals seeking treatments of greatest intensity. The goals of this study were to determine: 1) if there are differences in obesity-specific HRQOL between seekers of gastric bypass surgery and non-treatment-seeking controls; and, 2) if the presence and number of co-morbid conditions impacts on HRQOL. Methods: Participants were 339 surgical cases (mean age 42.9, mean BMI 47.7, 85.5% women) and 87 controls (mean age 48.8, mean BMI 43.5, 71.3% women). Obesity-specific HRQOL was assessed using the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite (IWQOL-Lite). Subjects were given a detailed medical history to determine the presence of co-morbid conditions. Results: After controlling for BMI, age, and gender, obesity-specific HRQOL was significantly more impaired (P<.001) in the surgery-seeking group than in the control group on all 5 scales and total score of the IWQOL-Lite. For total score, physical function and sexual life, there was increasing impairment with increasing number of co-morbid conditions. Treatment-seeking status, BMI, gender, and the presence of depression accounted for most of the variance in IWQOL-Lite total score. Conclusions: Persons seeking gastric bypass expe rience poorer HRQOL than non-treatment-seeking individuals after controlling for BMI, age, and gender. The presence of co-morbid conditions contributes to some aspects of HRQOL impairment.