Weight-loss surgery ups bone fracture risk

Washington: People who have had gastric bypass surgery or other bariatric weight-loss surgery have an even higher increased risk of breaking bones than previously found, according to a new study.

"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, a medical student at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and study’s lead author.

Nakamura reported the final analysis of research presented two years ago in a small subset of the 258 patients included in this study.

This full analysis showed that patients who had bariatric surgery have 2.3 times the chance of fractures compared with the general population, as opposed to the 1.8-fold increased risk found initially.

Patients who had bariatric surgery had an increased risk of a fracture at nearly all skeletal sites studied, according to the researchers.

The chance of breaking a foot or hand was especially high—about three times what would be expected, said Nakamura.

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. On average, they experienced their first fracture about six years after surgery, noted the researchers.

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


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