Obesity Surgery

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 1040–1046 | Cite as

Age-Related Effects of Bariatric Surgery on Early Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

  • Frederik H. W. Jonker
  • Vera A. A. van Houten
  • Leontine H. Wijngaarden
  • René A. Klaassen
  • André A. E. A. de Smet
  • André Niezen
  • Lodewijk J. D. M. Schelfhout
  • Tobias A. Bruning
  • Erwin van der Harst
Original Contributions



Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is increasingly used as a prognostic indicator for early atherosclerosis and the development of cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study is to assess the exact effects of bariatric surgery on CIMT reduction in different age groups.


CIMT was measured just proximal to the bifurcation of the carotid artery in 166 patients with mean body mass index of 43.4 kg/m2 before and at 6 and 12 months after bariatric surgery. Preoperative CIMT and Framingham Risk Score (FRS) were compared to measurements at 6 and 12 months, postoperatively. Impact of age on CIMT change and cardiovascular risk reduction was analyzed.


Median follow-up was 12 months; 12% were lost to follow-up. Mean CIMT values at 12 months after bariatric surgery were significantly lower compared to baseline (0.619 vs. 0.587 mm, p = 0.005 in women and 0.675 vs. 0.622 mm, p = 0.037 in men, respectively), and these effects were statistically significant in all age groups. The mean reduction of CIMT for patients < 50 years at 12 months was 0.043 mm (− 7.0%), while CIMT was reduced with 0.013 mm for patients ≥ 50 years (− 1.9%, p = 0.022). At 12 months after bariatric surgery, FRS had decreased with 52% in patients < 50 years as compared with 35% in patients ≥ 50 years (p = 0.025).


Bariatric surgery resulted in a significant CIMT decrease in patients with morbid obesity in all evaluated age categories. These beneficial effects of bariatric surgery were more pronounced in younger patients, while cardiovascular risk reduction by bariatric surgery appeared inferior in patients of 50 years and older.


Bariatric surgery Carotid intima-media thickness Age Atherosclerosis 



The authors would like to acknowledge Bendix R. Slegtenhorst, Evelien van Lierop, Remco Dubbeling, and Louise Groenendijk.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Consent Statement

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederik H. W. Jonker
    • 1
  • Vera A. A. van Houten
    • 2
  • Leontine H. Wijngaarden
    • 1
  • René A. Klaassen
    • 1
  • André A. E. A. de Smet
    • 1
  • André Niezen
    • 3
  • Lodewijk J. D. M. Schelfhout
    • 4
  • Tobias A. Bruning
    • 5
  • Erwin van der Harst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMaasstad HospitalRotterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryGroene Hart HospitalGoudaNetherlands
  3. 3.Department of Radiology and Nuclear MedicineMaasstad HospitalRotterdamNetherlands
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineMaasstad HospitalRotterdamNetherlands
  5. 5.Department of CardiologyMaasstad HospitalRotterdamNetherlands

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