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Cohort study
Bariatric surgery is associated with improved long-term survival in severely obese US veterans
  1. Melinda Maggard-Gibbons1,
  2. Aaron J Dawes1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3VA/Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Melinda Maggard-Gibbons Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, 757 Westwood Plaza, B711, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; mmaggard{at}

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Bariatric surgery is associated with improved health for severely obese individuals, including substantial weight loss and resolution of certain medical comorbidities. Some studies involving predominately young women with minor comorbid illnesses have also shown both short-term and medium-term mortality benefits of bariatric surgery. However, debate remains regarding the sustainability of health benefits and generalisability to select populations, including US veterans.


This study compared all-cause mortality rates for severely obese US veterans undergoing bariatric surgery between 2000 and 2011 to propensity score matched controls. Matching was based on age, sex, race, body mass index, diabetes status and geographic region. The authors used survival models (Kaplan-Meier and Cox) to compare groups up to a maximum …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.