May 16, 2019 08:32 PM EDT
Regardless of related weight loss, teens that had gastric bypass surgery were significantly more likely to have remission of both type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, compared to adults who had the same procedure. Outcomes are from NIH-funded research comparing results in the two groups five years after surgery. Earlier, no treatment has shown longer-term effectiveness at reversing type 2 diabetes in youth, which tends to advance more quickly than in adults.
The team of researchers evaluated 161 teens and 396 adults who underwent this surgery at clinical centers participating in Teen-LABS (Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery) and its adult counterpart, LABS. In the study, teens under 19 years old were at the time of surgery, and adults in the survey reported having obesity by age 18. Teen-LABS clinical centers have specialized experience in the surgical evaluation and management of young people with severe obesity, and both studies were funded primarily by NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The team published the results of the research in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Critical findings of the research include:
Teens were more likely, however, to have increased risks in other areas such as a need for subsequent abdominal surgeries, most commonly gall bladder removal. Teens were also more likely to have low iron and vitamin D levels, potentially because teens may be less likely to take enough vitamin and mineral supplements after surgery.
There was a similar death rate for both teens and adults five years after surgery, including two people from the teen group who died from an overdose. There is an overall increasing trend of drug overdose deaths in the U.S., and a previous LABS study found an increased risk of substance and alcohol use disorders after bariatric surgery in adults.
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