Racial disparity in short-term outcomes after gastric bypass surgery

Lily K. Cheung, Lincy S. Lal, Diana S.L. Chow, Vadim Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure is the most frequently performed bariatric surgery for the extremely obese in USA. However, the information about the effects of racial/ethnic differences, comorbidities, and medication use on weight loss outcomes is limited. The objectives of this study were to investigate if race/ethnicity, comorbidities, and medication use affect weight loss effectiveness after the surgery. Methods: This is a retrospective observational study conducted at one teaching hospital at Houston metropolitan area, TX, USA. Patients between 18 and 64 years, with body mass index (BMI) of ≥40 or BMI of ≥35 with comorbidities, who had completed medical evaluations/consultations and met insurance policy requirements, were included in the study. Results: From a total of 40 patients in the study (40 % African Americans, 35 % Caucasians, 17.5 % Hispanics, 7.5 % others), the weight loss was significantly greater in Caucasian patients at 6 months after the surgery, with mean percentage excess weight loss (%EWL) of 40.6 ± 17.3, as compared to all other racial groups combined at %EWL of 30.9 ± 11.5 (p value 0.04). No association was found between the 6-month weight loss and other variables including age, gender, BMI prior to surgery, comorbidities, and total number of medications taken before the surgery. Conclusions: This study found that Caucasian patients had a significantly greater %EWL at 6 months post-op as compared to their African-American and Hispanic counterparts. No other variables exhibited significant impact on the weight loss. Further studies with a larger sample size are needed to confirm the results from this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2096-2103
Number of pages8
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Comorbidities
  • Ethnicity
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Medication use
  • Obesity
  • Race
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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