Researchers from the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, Conn., report that the risk of dying from morbid obesity is 50 to 85 percent higher than the risk of dying from bariatric surgery.Scientists announced the study findings at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery in San Francisco this past week.
“Morbid obesity is a killer disease that requires intervention,” said Dr. Randolph B. Reinhold, lead author and chairman of Saint Raphael’s surgery department, in a prepared statement. “This study puts into perspective that for some people, the risk of not having surgery is higher than having surgery.”
According to a press release from the society, the study evaluated 1,185 morbidly obese patients from 1997 to 2004. Of those people, 908 had bariatric surgery and 112 did not. The remainder were not available for the study. Over the course of the study, 2.9 percent of the surgery recipients died compared to 14.3 of those who did not have surgery.
“Bariatric surgery has been proven to be effective in achieving sustainable weight loss in people with morbid obesity and reducing or eliminating obesity-related diseases,” Reinhold said.