Tags: Obesity | weight-loss | surgery | risk | alcoholism | obesity | RYGB

Popular Weight-Loss Surgery Puts Patients at Risk for Alcoholism

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By    |   Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:01 PM

One in five patients who undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss is likely to develop problems with alcohol, finds a study published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, the journal of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The results suggest that bariatric surgery patients should receive long-term clinical follow-up to monitor for and treat alcohol use disorder, which includes alcohol abuse and dependence.

"We knew there was an increase in the number of people experiencing problems with alcohol within the first two years of surgery, but we didn't expect the number of affected patients to continue to grow throughout seven years of follow-up," said lead author Wendy C. King, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

King and her team discovered that 20.8 percent of participants developed symptoms of alcohol use disorder within five years of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). In contrast, only 11.3 percent of patients who underwent gastric banding reported problem alcohol use.

RYGB significantly reduces the size of the stomach and changes connections with the small intestine. It is one of the most popular type of weight-loss surgery. Another popular form of surgery, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, is less invasive. It wraps a band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch to hold food.

Starting in 2006, King and her colleagues followed more than 2,000 patients who underwent weight-loss surgery. Of those, 1,481 patients received RYGB and 522 underwent laparoscopic gastric banding.  

Both groups of patients increased their alcohol consumption over the seven years of the study. However, only those patients who underwent RYGB had an increase in symptoms measured by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.

"Because alcohol problems may not appear for several years, it is important that doctors routinely ask patients with a history of bariatric surgery about their alcohol consumption and whether they are experiencing symptoms of alcohol use disorder, and are prepared to refer them to treatment," said King.

Still, there are numerous health advantages with weight-loss surgery. A 2016 study found that although obese people age more quickly than those of normal weight because of higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and shorter telomeres, Austrian researchers found that losing weight following bariatric surgery reverses the process. Two years after surgery, the patients' telomeres were 80 percent longer than they had been before the procedure.  

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One in five patients who undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss is likely to develop problems with alcohol, finds a study published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, the journal of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.The results suggest...
weight-loss, surgery, risk, alcoholism, obesity, RYGB
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2017-01-16
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:01 PM
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