Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Better COVID-19 Outcomes

(Reuters) – Surgery for obesity may have a protective effect against poor outcomes from COVID-19, data from one New York City hospital suggest.

Doctors there studied 620 patients with COVID-19, including 130 who had previously undergone bariatric surgery, and a control group of 496 patients with obesity of similar age and gender who were eligible for these surgeries but had not undergone them.

Compared to the control group, the patients who had undergone the bariatric procedures – gastric bypass, gastric banding, or sleeve gastrectomy – were less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to need a mechanical ventilator for breathing, and less likely to die in the hospital, even though many of them were still obese.

They were also released from hospital faster, and those who were admitted to the ICU spent fewer days there, according to a report in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

“Patients with obesity have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with a higher risk of severe disease and death,” the authors pointed out.

They added that while the study cannot prove that bariatric surgery caused better outcomes, the results suggest it might be “a protective factor against severe COVID-19 … in the high-risk population with obesity.”

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3fWKenl Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, online August 8, 2021.

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