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Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Bariatric Surgery


The purpose of this study was to examine the associations among race and socioeconomic factors (receiving social security disability, insurance type, and income) with undergoing bariatric surgery and weight loss outcomes in a racially diverse, urban cohort of bariatric surgery candidates (N = 314). Patients with private insurance and who identified as Caucasian were more likely to undergo bariatric surgery. Income significantly predicted percentage of excess weight loss 1 year after surgery, although this was no longer significant when accounting for race. Race and socioeconomic factors should be considered during psychosocial evaluations to support patients at risk of surgical attrition and poorer weight loss outcomes. Future research should explore policy solutions to improve access, while qualitative work may help with understanding racial disparities in bariatric surgery.

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Correspondence to Lisa R. Miller-Matero.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

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Hecht, L., Pester, B., Braciszewski, J.M. et al. Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Bariatric Surgery. OBES SURG (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-020-04394-7

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  • Bariatric surgery
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Income
  • Insurance type
  • Weight loss