MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Teens who undergo bariatric surgery may be at increased risk for nutritional deficiencies years later, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Stavra A. Xanthakos, M.D., from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and colleagues studied 226 adolescents (mean age, 16.5 years) who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB; 161 patients) or vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG; 65 patients) at five tertiary-care centers from March 2007 through February 2012. Nutritional deficiencies were evaluated.

The researchers found that mean body mass index decreased 23 percent at five years and did not vary significantly between procedures. Serum concentrations of vitamin B12 significantly decreased after RYGB, but not VSG, while serum transferrin and parathyroid hormone increased. For both procedures, ferritin levels decreased significantly. Hypoferritinemia occurred in 2.5 percent of patients before RYGB and 71 percent at five years after RYGB surgery and 11 percent of patients before VSG and 45 percent at five years after VSG surgery. For serum folate and vitamins A, B1, or D, there were no significant changes between baseline and five years following either procedure. At follow-up, 59 percent of RYGB and 27 percent of VSG recipients had at least two nutritional deficiencies.

“Ongoing nutrient monitoring and supplementation are recommended for all patients, but surgery type, supplementation intake, sex, and race might affect risk,” the authors write.

One author disclosed grant support from Allurion, which manufactures a gastric balloon for weight loss.

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