Psychiatric Illness has no Negative Effect on Weight Loss after Bariatric Surgery

New research shows that overweight patients with psychiatric diagnoses lose similar amounts of weight after bariatric surgery compared to those without mental illness.
Patients suffering from depression, anxiety, or any psychiatric diagnosis did not statistically differ in weight loss compared to those patients without a psychiatric diagnosis, according to a study presented at the 31st Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in April 2010.
The study included 61 men (61%) and women (39%) who underwent gastric bypass (41%) and laparoscopic band surgery (59%) between 2003 and 2008. Psychological examination revealed 54% suffered from depression, 28% anxiety, and 69% had at least 1 psychiatric diagnosis, which included psychosis and bipolar.
Before surgery, the patients had a mean body mass index (BMI) of 48.2. After surgery, there was a mean weight loss of 68.5 lbs. Participants were followed for 2 years.
“There is a feeling [among practitioners] that patients with psychiatric diagnoses will fare poorly [with bariatric surgery], but the study showed no statistically significant difference” from patients without a diagnoses, study investigator Angela Banitt, MA, a doctoral student at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, told Meds cape Psychiatry.
“You don’t want to rule out patients with depression or anxiety because they may do just as well as someone who doesn’t have these conditions,” she added.

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