Weight loss and health outcomes in African Americans and whites after gastric bypass surgery

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Objective: The objective was to describe differences in weight loss, dietary intake, and cardiovascular risk factors between white and African-American patients after gastric bypass (GBP). Research Methods and Procedures: This was a retrospective database review of a sample of 84 adult patients (24 African-American and 60 white women and men) between the ages of 33 and 53 years. All subjects had GBP surgery in 2001 at the Bariatric Surgery Program at Boston Medical Center in Boston, MA, and were followed for one year postoperatively. Patients were excluded if weight data were missing at baseline, 3 months, or 1 year after GBP. A total of 9 African Americans and 41 whites provided data at all 3 time-points and were included in the study. Differences in weight loss, diet, and cardiovascular risk factors were analyzed. Results: There were no differences in baseline characteristics between African Americans and whites. Mean weight loss for the entire sample was 36 ± 9%, with a range of 8% to 54% relative to initial body weight. Whites lost more weight (39 ± 8%) than African Americans (26 ± 10%) (p < 0.05). Dietary parameters, as well as improvements in blood pressure and lipid profiles, were similar in the two racial groups. Discussion: Differences in weight loss between severely obese African Americans and whites undergoing open GBP are unlikely to be related to postoperative dietary practices. Our data are consistent with previous reports implicating metabolic differences between the two racial groups. Copyright © 2007 NAASO.

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