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Influence of Ethnicity on the Efficacy and Utilization of Bariatric Surgery in the USA



Ethnic disparities in patterns of utilization and outcomes after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) were examined from Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database.


Descriptive statistics were used for demographics of Whites, Blacks, or Hispanics undergoing RYGB with 1 year of follow-up, between June 2007 and October 2011. Multivariate logistic and normal regression models, controlling for baseline characteristics, examined relationships between race and outcomes. T tests were used for continuous variables and Pearson chi-square test for categorical variables.


Study patients (108,333) were79 % White, 12 % Black, and 9 % Hispanic. Fewer Black males underwent surgery (15 %) compared to Whites or Hispanics (∼22 %). Blacks compared to Whites were younger (42.7 ± 10.6 vs. 46.4 ± 11.6 years), heavier BMI (50 ± 9.1 vs. 47.4 ± 8.0 kg/m2), and more often hypertensive (57 vs. 52 %). Other comorbidities were higher in Whites. Thirty-day mortality rate was equivalent (0.23–0.26 %), but serious adverse events were higher for Blacks (3.65 %) versus Whites (3.19 %) and Hispanics (2.01 %). At 1 year, weight and comorbidity burden declined significantly but less in Blacks despite adjustment for baseline characteristics.


Fewer Black males underwent RYGB. Despite a smaller percent decline in BMI and comorbidities in Blacks, all races benefitted significantly from RYGB. Influence of other factors such as diet, culture, and genetics needs to be investigated further.

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Correspondence to Ranjan Sudan.

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Presented as an oral presentation at the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract Annual Meeting, Orlando 2013 and was selected as Best of DDW presentation.

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Sudan, R., Winegar, D., Thomas, S. et al. Influence of Ethnicity on the Efficacy and Utilization of Bariatric Surgery in the USA. J Gastrointest Surg 18, 130–136 (2014).

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  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric bypass
  • Disparities
  • Ethnicity