Research — 14 January 2016

Mental health conditions, such as depression and binge eating disorder, are common among patients seeking and undergoing bariatric surgery, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Aaron Dawes of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to determine the prevalence of mental health conditions among bariatric surgery candidates and recipients and the association between preoperative mental health conditions and health outcomes following bariatric surgery.

The researchers identified 68 publications meeting criteria for inclusion in the analysis and found 59 reporting the prevalence of preoperative mental health conditions in 65,363 patients and 27 reporting associations between preoperative mental health conditions and postoperative outcomes in 50,182 patients.

The results showed that 23 percent of patients undergoing bariatric surgery reported a current mood disorder. Depression was the most common, reported in 19 percent of patients while 17 percent were diagnosed with an eating disorder.

“Both estimates are higher than published rates for the general U.S. population, suggesting that special attention should be paid to these conditions among bariatric patients,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

According to the study, about 19 percent of U.S. residents have a mental health condition, including eight percent with depression and one to five percent with binge eating disorder.

Another common mental health condition for these patients was anxiety (12 percent).

There was conflicting evidence regarding the association between preoperative mental health conditions and postoperative weight loss, but a fall in the prevalence of depression and the severity of depressive symptoms after bariatric surgery was noted.

Seven of the studies reviewed showed an eight to 74 percent decrease in the rate of depression after bariatric surgery, and six studies found a 40 to 70 percent decrease in the severity of depressive symptoms, the study added.

This article first appeared on ‘Xinhua Net’ on 13 January 2015.

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