A new study has found that weight loss surgery does not mean improved bone health. Because extra weight and obesity put added strain on bones, making them weaker over time, one would think that bone health may improve with weight loss. The results of the study found that patients who underwent weight loss surgery were actually in greater jeopardy of bone fractures, compared to those who did not undergo the procedure.
The researchers looked at 12,600 weight loss patients, over 38,000 obese individuals, and 127,000 normal-weight individuals.
Prior to the surgery, 11 percent of the weight-loss patients had broken at least one bone, compared to eight percent in the obese group and seven percent in the normal-weight group.
After the four-year follow-up, four percent of the weight-loss patients broke at least one bone, compared to three percent in the obese group and two percent in the normal-weight group.
The reason why those who undergo weight loss surgery are at a higher risk for fractures is still unclear. Nutritional deficiencies resulting from extreme weight loss may partially explain this phenomenon.
Dr. Marco Bueter, a bariatric surgeon, commented, “Our understanding of bone physiology after [weight-loss] surgery remains limited, and the clinical consequences of physiological alterations remain untested by appropriate prospective studies.”
The findings were published in BMJ.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Six tips to improve your bone health.