All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality Associated with Bariatric Surgery: A Review

Ted D. Adams, Tapan S. Mehta, Lance E. Davidson, Steven Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Citations (Scopus)


The question of whether or not nonsurgical intentional or voluntary weight loss results in reduced mortality has been equivocal, with long-term mortality following weight loss being reported as increased, decreased, and not changed. In part, inconsistent results have been attributed to the uncertainty of whether the intentionality of weight loss is accurately reported in large population studies and also that achieving significant and sustained voluntary weight loss in large intervention trials is extremely difficult. Bariatric surgery has generally been free of these conflicts. Patients voluntarily undergo surgery and the resulting weight is typically significant and sustained. These elements, combined with possible non-weight loss-related mechanisms, have resulted in improved comorbidities, which likely contribute to a reduction in long-term mortality. This paper reviews the association between bariatric surgery and long-term mortality. From these studies, the general consensus is that bariatric surgical patients have: 1) significantly reduced long-term all-cause mortality when compared to severely obese non-bariatric surgical control groups; 2) greater mortality when compared to the general population, with the exception of one study; 3) reduced cardiovascular-, stroke-, and cancer-caused mortality when compared to severely obese non-operated controls; and 4) increased risk for externally caused death such as suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalCurrent Atherosclerosis Reports
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015



  • Adjustable band
  • Bariatric
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Gastric bypass
  • Mortality
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

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