Recently, research teams across the country working to eliminate childhood obesity through the National Institutes of Health’s funded study Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS), released results from a 3 year follow-up study on adolescent patients after bariatric surgery. The study entitled, “Weight Loss and Health Status 3 Years after Bariatric Surgery in Adolescents,” was published in the latest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Texas group was led by award winning clinician Dr. Mary Brandt, MD, director of the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program at Texas Children’s and professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Bradt’s work is focused on improving the care and advancement of pediatric surgery, specifically, that of adolescent bariatric surgery as a treatment modality for morbid obesity.
In this study, Dr. Bradt, and her colleagues across the country, enrolled 242 morbidly obese adolescent patients, ages 13 to 19, and followed them for 3 years after surgery. The study findings included:
- Average pre-surgical rate for enrollees was 325 pounds with an average body mass index (BMI) of 53 kg/m2
- Three years after surgery mean weight had decreased by 27% among all participants, by 28% among participants who underwent gastric bypass, and by 26% among those who underwent sleeve gastrectomy.
- Three years after surgery remission of type 2 diabetes occurred in 95% of participants who had the condition at the beginning of the study, remission of abnormal kidney function occurred in 86%, remission of pre-diabetes in 76%, remission of elevated blood pressure in 74%, and remission of dyslipidemia in 66%.
- Patients expressed that weight-related quality of life improved significantly.
In a Texas Children’s Hospital news release, Dr. Brandt, explained “Obesity is a serious health threat to millions of children and adolescents around the world, especially those who are considered severely obese. Many of the patients we see in our program suffer from diseases usually seen only in adults. The findings of our study demonstrate that potentially life-threatening diseases, like diabetes, can be reversed in adolescents with severe morbid obesity.”
“Through this data we now know surgical intervention can have a drastic impact on the serious health-related complications and comorbidities many of these children face due to their obesity. While further research is needed, intervening early could potentially have more substantial and longer-lasting implications than doing so later in life,” Brandt concluded.