Health Minute

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Fall 2018

New Study Shows Obese Patients Live Longer with Weight Loss Surgery

Health Minute     Fall 2018

The long-term effect of weight loss surgery is longer life, according to a new 10-year study of more than 33,500 obese patients.

“The researchers found that after 10 years, obese patients who chose to treat their obesity with a bariatric procedure had half the death rate of their obese counterparts who chose traditional weight-loss management instead of surgery,” says Joe Northup, MD, of Premier Weight Loss Solutions. “That’s a major, life-changing difference!”

You can read the findings in the January 2018 issue of The Journal of the American Medical AssociationOff Site Icon. This study marks the first time research has documented the long-term effect of weight loss surgery on death rates. 

Researchers compared 8,385 obese patients who had the surgery (65 percent women and 35 percent men) to 25,155 similar patients who did not have weight loss surgery. The average person in the study was 46 years old, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40. BMI measures body fat based on weight in relation to height. Having a BMI of 40 is like being 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 265 pounds.

“We know that people with severe obesity are more likely to have life-threatening conditions and diseases. These include type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. Research has confirmed the short-term benefits of weight-loss surgery in helping to improve or end these problems. What we didn’t know – until now – was the procedure’s ability to prolong life,” Dr. Northup says.

“The decision to have surgery is a serious one. Patients should take the time to explore their options. And to make the best-informed decision, they should know the procedure’s true costs and benefits,” he adds.

To learn more about how weight loss surgery could improve the quality – and even length – of your life, talk with your doctor or visit Premier Weight Loss Solutions at to find a physician.