Conflicting data have been published for bariatric surgery in older patients, with no long-term large-scale studies available. Our aim was to provide long-term (> 10 years) results on weight loss, metabolic outcomes, and quality of life in a large homogenous series of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) patients, according to age at baseline.
All consecutive patients who underwent primary RYGB between 1999 and 2007, and therefore eligible for 10-year follow-up, were retrospectively analyzed. According to their age at baseline, they were divided into three groups: A (< 40 years), B (40-54 years), and C (≥ 55 years). Categorical variables were compared with the χ test and continuous variables with ANOVA.
Our series consisted of 820 patients, with a 10-year follow-up of 80.6%. Although group C (11% of all patients) had significantly more comorbidities at baseline, there was no difference in postoperative morbidity and mortality between groups. Weight loss was significantly less for group C patients up to the 7th postoperative year, but no difference remained thereafter. 10-year %total weight loss was 32.2, 32.9, and 32.3 respectively in groups A, B, and C. After 10 years, glycemic control and lipid profile improved similarly, rates of partial or complete remission of diabetes and hypertension were identical, and quality of life presented a significant improvement for all patients with no inter-group difference.
Our results suggest similar short- and long-term outcomes after RYGB for patients ≥ 55 years compared to younger ones; the relative benefit might even be higher for older patients, given their increased comorbidity at baseline.