Study Finds That BMI May Not Be Best Way to Determine Bariatric Surgery Eligibility

Study found that gender, smoking status and diabetes are all better in indicators of a patient’s risk for death among their obese counterparts, University of Alberta study claims. Each year nearly 350,000 weight loss surgical procedures are performed.

Worldwide women are more likely than males to endure weight loss surgery, and when they do, they are at a much higher risk of complications then men. These findings were reported in the newly published medical research study from the University of Alberta by
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researchers, Raj Padwal, Sumit Majumdar, Arya Sharma and their colleagues.

This study was published in Journal of American Medical Association Surgery (JAMA Surgery). Their findings do in fact confirmed what many medical professionals have suspected – that body mass index or BMI, a calculation using one’s height and weight, is not always the best way to determine if patients can safely endure bariatric surgical procedures.

The study’s researchers wanted to determine whether simple parameter could be used in order to predict a patient’s risk of death (for obese patients). They reviewed over 15,000 different bariatric surgery patient records from the UK and discovered that whether or not one had Diabetes, their gender and their smoking status all accurately predicted risk more than a BMI number.

The researchers agree that they would more likely look at one’s risk of mortality over the fact if they weigh more than another patient who also wants to have weight loss surgery. They found that males who smoke and have diabetes are at the highest risk of death after bariatric surgery. This means if one is female, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t have diabetes, they are at a higher chance of having a safe procedure and being approved for a weight loss surgical procedure.

The study’s researchers agree that the current BMI cut off doesn’t help those that need it most. Ultimately, they believe that a Diabetes diagnosis is more important than BMI ever will be. Their research showed that size alone isn’t an accurate way to determine if someone is eligible or can safely have a weight loss surgery.

Their principal investigator, Raj Padwal, believes that diabetes can be a strong predictor of death. He believes that obese patients who have diabetes are twice as likely to die compared to those who didn’t. The study also found that smoking increase a patient’s risk of death by 1.6 times and being male, 1.5 times.

The study’s researchers concluded with a simple prediction guideline or calculator that will help medical professionals to determine the risk of death in a specific patient. This has them inputting the patient’s age, sex, smoking status and whether or not they have Type II Diabetes.

Padwal and his colleagues believe that this will be useful for physicians and other medical professionals. They believe that their simple math will better calculate and predict a patient’s risk of death, which helps keep weight loss surgery as safe as possible with the least amount of complications.

Study Finds That BMI May Not Be Best Way to Determine Bariatric Surgery Eligibility
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