-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Could gastric bypass
weight-loss surgery raise the odds for alcohol abuse
That's the finding from a group of Swedish researchers who were
slated to present their data this past Saturday at the Digestive
Disease Week conference in Chicago.
A team from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm tracked more
than 12,000 patients who underwent primary bariatric surgery
between 1980 and 2006. The patients were matched against a control
group of almost 123,000 patients from the general population.
The study found there was greater risk of hospitalization for
depression, attempted suicide, substance abuse and alcoholism
following weight-loss surgery. (The bariatric patients also had a
greater risk than the general population of hospitalization for
psychiatric disease before their weight-loss surgery.)
The researchers also found that people who undergo gastric
bypass surgery, in particular, faced double the risk of inpatient
treatment for alcohol abuse vs. those who have restrictive
surgeries (such as stomach "stapling" and the gastric banding
"Patients undergoing gastric bypass should be carefully counseled on alcohol consumption," study lead author Dr. Magdalena Plecka Ostlund said in a news release from the meeting's sponsor, the American Gastroenterological Association. "In addition, caregivers should be aware of the greater potential for alcohol abuse after surgery so treatment can be sought if problems arise."
But Ostlund also stressed that any increased risk for alcohol
dependency following gastric bypass should be weighed against the
numerous health benefits of the procedure.
Findings presented at meetings are considered preliminary since
they have not undergone the rigorous peer review of data published
in reputable journals.
There's much more on bariatric surgery for obesity at the
Weight Control Information Network.
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