Weight loss surgeries are used less in the US states that need them most

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The American South and Midwest have the highest rates of obesity in the country, but a new study reveals that residents with severe obesity in these regions are the least likely to choose weight loss surgery to save the life.

“Bariatric It has been shown to provide long-term weight loss, sustained improvements in cardiovascular and , and even prolonged longevity, ”noted the study’s author, Dr. Scott Schimpke, but the analysis“ shows that we continue to underuse the per and associated metabolic syndrome “.

Schimpke, an assistant professor in the minimally invasive and bariatric surgery division at Rush Medical College in Chicago, and colleagues point out that it is associated with a considerably higher risk of developing more than 40 different serious illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes.

The American Heart Association explains that metabolic syndrome (a group of five different conditions) raises the risk of developing these diseases. Abdominal obesity is one of these conditions; the other four include high blood sugar levels, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

The researchers said bariatric surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, offers an opportunity to reduce this risk by helping patients achieve considerable weight loss.

In fact, the study team pointed this out it is the standard of severe care . Severe obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or a BMI of 35 and over along with obesity-related complications such as diabetes.

Using insurance claims data, Schimpke and his team focused on a group of about 1.8 million patients in the United States who were severely obese and therefore eligible for bariatric surgery in the decade. of 2010.

Of these, approximately 100,000 were actually undergoing bariatric surgery during this time period. But procedural patterns varied widely by state.

For example, while approximately 9% to 10.4% of eligible patients in New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware opted for surgery, less than 3% did so in West Virginia, Alabama, and Arkansas.

Overall, the researchers determined that the lowest percentage of opt-in per region was the Midwest, where just over 4% of eligible patients were operated on, although almost 34% of Midwesterns are obese (making the Midwestern region in the highest country in general). obesity rates in the country).

In contrast, the highest rate of optional surgery (almost 8%) was observed in the Northeast region, where the overall rate of obesity is lower (29%).

The results were presented last week at a virtual meeting of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. This research is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“There are probably several factors that contribute to the large variation in utilization,” Schimpke said. He highlighted differences in levels of access to health care; beliefs and attitudes among referral patients and physicians; number of hospitals and surgeons available; and insurance coverage requirements.

Schimpke also noted the “negative psychosocial connotation associated with bariatric surgery between physicians / professionals and patients, which needs to be addressed with strategic campaigns detailing the safety and effectiveness of bariatric surgery.”

Ultimately, there is probably a wide mix of social, cultural, and economic factors at stake, suggested Lona Sandon, program director for the Department of Clinical Nutrition at the School of Health Professions at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She was not part of the investigation.

On the one hand, “people who are surrounded by other people with a similar body size may not perceive their weight out of the norm and therefore not seek bariatric surgery,” Sandon said. “[And] there are differences in ethnicity and culture between states with the highest rates of obesity compared to states with the lowest rates. “

In addition, “states with higher rates of obesity also tend to have higher rates of food insecurity, which means lower incomes overall,” he noted. “Bariatric surgery is an expensive proposition, especially if you don’t have good insurance coverage.”

But while success in weight loss depends on adopting a “challenging” change in diet and lifestyle after surgery, the process can certainly help you lose weight and regain weight. be comfortable [other negative health] conditions under better control, ”Sandon said.

Therefore, it’s important, he said, to help eligible patients “better understand treatment options and the potential for success,” sharing success stories in surgery, and highlighting the benefits of reducing high-risk health problems. , such as blood pressure and diabetes.


Discussions between the patient and the provider about bariatric surgery play a key role in weight loss outcomes.


More information:
There is more information on weight loss surgery at US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Citation: The least used weight loss surgeries in the US states that need them most (2021, June 14), recovered on June 14, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06- weight-loss-surgeries-states.html

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