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Changes in Health-Related Quality of Life After Gastric Bypass in Patients With and Without Obesity-Related Disease



A substantial proportion of severely obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery have not developed disease as a consequence of obesity. Little is known about the effects of bariatric surgery on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in this patient group. In a prospective study at a public hospital, we compared HRQL in gastric bypass patients with and without obesity-related disease before and 2 years after surgery.


HRQL was assessed in 232 severely obese patients before, 1 year, and 2 years after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. We used a general HRQL questionnaire, the Short Form 36, and an obesity-specific questionnaire, the Obesity-related Problems scale. The patients were divided into two groups based on the presence of obesity-related disease (n = 146) or not (n = 86) before surgery. We defined obesity-related disease as having at least one of the following conditions: type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or osteoarthritis. Linear mixed models were used to analyze the HRQL outcomes.


Before surgery, patients with no obesity-related disease reported equal HRQL compared with patients with obesity-related disease. Two years after gastric bypass, substantial improvements in all subscales of Short Form 36 and in Obesity-related Problems scale were observed in both groups, and the improvements were similar in 7 out of 8 subscales of Short Form 36 as well as for the Obesity-related Problems scale.


Baseline HRQL was similar in patients with and without obesity-related disease prior to gastric bypass. After surgery, patients with no comorbidity had similar positive changes in HRQL as patients with one or several comorbidities. These findings indicate that other factors than obesity-related disease are at least as important for severely obese patients’ impaired HRQL.

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We thank Inger Eribe, RN, and Ann O. Steen, RN, for help with data collection and distribution of study questionnaires.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Statement of Human Rights

All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.


The study was funded by Oslo University Hospital. The use of the Short Form 36 questionnaires was permitted by the payment of license fees (license number QM017491).

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Correspondence to Hilde Risstad.

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Risstad, H., Søvik, T.T., Hewitt, S. et al. Changes in Health-Related Quality of Life After Gastric Bypass in Patients With and Without Obesity-Related Disease. OBES SURG 25, 2408–2416 (2015).

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  • Health-related quality of life
  • Morbid obesity
  • Severe obesity
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric bypass
  • Comorbidity
  • SF-36
  • OP-scale