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Racial differences

Differences in weight loss by race/procedure

There were no significant differences between racial or ethnic groups in the percentage of excess weight lost for sleeve gastrectomy patients

Non-Hispanic white patients who underwent a gastric bypass procedure lost slightly more weight over a three-year period than Hispanic or black patients, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. The study also examined two types of bariatric surgery and found that patients who underwent gastric bypass lost more weight over the same period than patients who sleeve gastrectomy procedure.

Karen Coleman

"Even though some patients may not lose as much weight as others, the weight regain rate at three years is still very low for all patients, regardless of their racial or ethnic background. This supports the success of bariatric surgery for weight control in persons who have extreme obesity," said study lead author, Dr Karen J Coleman of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. "We believe our study provides an opportunity for health care providers to potentially develop more culturally sensitive post-surgical programmes to improve success rates for populations struggling with weight loss."

Researchers examined the Kaiser Permanente electronic health records of more than 20,000 racially and ethnically diverse patients in Southern California who underwent bariatric surgery from 2004 to 2013.

Compared to national surgical quality databases, the registry (n=20,296) has a similar proportion of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB; 58%), more vertical sleeve gastrectomy (SG; 40%), fewer banding (2%) procedures, more Hispanic patients (35%), and higher rates of one year follow-up (78%).

They found that, on average, gastric bypass patients lost an average of 59 percent of excess weight (an average 81.5lbs) and vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients lost an average of 46 percent (57.6lbs) after three years of follow-up (p<0.001).

With vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients, the researchers found no significant differences between racial or ethnic groups in the percentage of excess weight lost.

“We are one of the first groups to publish comparison weight outcomes for RYGB and SG in a diverse patient population, showing that the responses to RYGB and not SG vary by race/ethnicity,” the authors concluded.

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