Typically body mass index or BMI is the determining factor when choosing if someone is eligible for weight loss surgery. However, a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that other factors, including diabetes status and age, better predict the 10-year mortality rate for obese and morbidly obese people and how bariatric surgery would positively affect them and their health.
How does BMI relate to Obesity?
The study evaluated 15,394 obese patients within the UK General Practice Research Database. Patients were between the ages of 18 to 65 with BMIs of over 35. They also included patients with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 (class I) who had a disease related to obesity, including:
The researchers created a rule for 10-year mortality that included sex, smoking, age, and diabetes status. They found that all of these elements primarily predicted mortality in obese patients. They hoped to show how BMI is not the only or even the most reliable predictor with respect to remission after several surgery types, including Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve (VSG), and duodenal switch (DS).
What is the difference between BMI and Obesity?
This study challenges medical professionals to develop a more calculated plan in determining if patients qualify for bariatric surgery. Their overall health and 10-year mortality risk should be significant factors in this decision.
The scientists challenge the conventional thought of using BMI as the major or the only indicator if a patient is eligible for surgery. It dives deeper to make professionals think in terms of the bigger picture and each patient’s future health and life expectancy.
Abdominal obesity, defined as excessive fat around the organs, is associted with higher risk of heart disease. Waist to hip ratio is another determining factor for weight loss surgery candidacy.
Many experts believe that BMI doesn’t always reflect why a person is obese. Some believe the average BMI used in this study is low and could skew data. However, the overall consensus is that the protocol for determining whether a patient should or shouldn’t have bariatric surgery needs to evolve.
The study found that 2.1% of patients studied ended in a fatality. Some experts believe this number is high; however, the number shows a dangerous trend for those in that particular BMI bracket.
What does your BMI need to be to have weight loss surgery?
Ultimately, this research demonstrates that there are factors other than the general body mass index that will predict the risk of death in patients who undergo weight loss surgery. This can occur from various medical conditions or diseases they may have, including their age, their gender, or if they have or do smoke.
BMI is no longer reliable for assessing a patient’s eligibility for bariatric surgery. Because every human is unique in structure and genetic makeup, it is also viewed as outdated in fitness settings. Many factors other than a body mass index might indicate the need for weight loss surgery.
The factors questioned regarding eligibility will be determined by the surgeon, doctor, or medical facility.