The prevalence of obesity among adolescents has increased and we lack effective treatments.
To determine if gastric bypass is safe and effective for an unselected cohort of adolescents with morbid obesity in specialized health care.
Intervention study for 81 adolescents (13-18 years) with a body mass index (BMI) range 36-69 kg?m(-2) undergoing laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery in a university hospital setting in Sweden between April 2006 and May 2009. For weight change comparisons, we identified an adult group undergoing gastric bypass surgery (n=81) and an adolescent group (n=81) receiving conventional care.
Two-year outcome regarding BMI in all groups, and metabolic risk factors and quality of life in the adolescent surgery group.
Two-year follow-up rate was 100% in both surgery groups and 73% in the adolescent comparison group. In adolescents undergoing surgery, BMI was 45.5 ± 6.1 (mean ± s.d.) at baseline and 30.2 (confidence interval 29.1-31.3) after 2 years (P20 mU?l(-1)) was present in 70% of the adolescent surgery patients, which was reduced to 0% at 1 year and 3% at 2 years. Other cardiovascular risk factors were also improved. Two-thirds of adolescents undergoing surgery had a history of psychopathology. Nevertheless, the treatment was generally well tolerated and, overall, quality of life increased significantly. Adverse events were seen in 33% of patients.
Adolescents with severe obesity demonstrated similar weight loss as adults following gastric bypass surgery yet demonstrating high prevalence of psychopathology at baseline. There were associated benefits for health and quality of life. Surgical and psychological challenges during follow-up require careful attention.