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Bariatric surgery linked to higher alcohol abuse

Lyon, France — Patients who undergo bariatric surgery are more likely to report and be diagnosed with problems associated with alcohol consumption, according to a report presented at the 19th European Congress on Obesity.

Study investigators from the Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research University of Gothenburg, Sweden, analyzed data from 2,010 patients who underwent bariatric surgery between 1987 and 2001, and 2,037 contemporary control subjects, Medscape Medical News reports. Patients with existing alcohol problems were excluded from the study.

Investigators examined long-term changes in alcohol consumption and abuse, with a median follow-up time of 10 years. Patients self-reported alcohol use and any problems with alcohol they might have had.

Previous studies showed a decrease in alcohol consumption for six months after bariatric surgery, typically followed by an increase.

Various bariatric procedures displayed different risks. Gastric bypass had the highest rates of both medium-risk alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse, followed by vertical banded gastroplasty. Patients undergoing gastric banding had similar risk rates as the control group.

Investigators are unclear on what causes the higher rate of alcohol abuse among bariatric patients

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