Gastric bypass surgery linked to increased fracture risk

June 5th, 2011 - 4:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 5 (IANS) People who have had gastric bypass (bariatric) or other weight-loss surgeries have an even higher risk of fractures than previously found.

Such people have 2.3 times the chance of fractures compared with the general population, as opposed to the 1.8-fold increased risk found initially.

“A negative effect on bone health that may increase the risk of fractures is an important consideration for people considering bariatric surgery and those who have undergone bariatric surgery,” said Kelly Nakamura, medical student at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester.

Nakamura who led the study, reported the final analysis of research presented two years ago in a small subset of the 258 patients included in this study, according to a Mayo statement.

Patients who had bariatric surgery had an increased risk of a fractures at nearly all skeletal sites studied. The chance of breaking a foot or hand was especially high - about three times what would be expected, Nakamura said.

For comparison, the investigators studied the patients’ actual fracture rates reported in their medical records versus the expected fracture rates among people of the same age and sex living in the same county in Minnesota.

Patients underwent bariatric surgery at Mayo Clinic Rochester between 1985 and 2004, with 94 percent of patients having a gastric bypass.

A total of 79 patients had 132 fractures during an average follow-up of nine years, the authors reported. On an average, they experienced their first fracture about six years after surgery.

This is a time when their primary health care provider, rather than their surgeon, usually is responsible for their care, said the study’s principal investigator, Kurt Kennel, assistant professor of medicine in the endocrinology division at Mayo Clinic.

These study findings will be presented Tuesday at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.

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