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Bariatric surgery increasing the risk of fracture

Patients undergoing weight loss surgery are more likely to suffer from fractures both before and after surgery compared to their obese and non-obese counterparts who don’t need surgery. This is the conclusion from a large study from Canada that has been published in the BMJ. The study included over 177,000 participants who were categorised into ‘weight-loss group’, ‘obese’, and ‘non-obese’. Both before and after the surgery the weight loss group suffered more fractures.

The authors speculate that the increased risks are due to falls, and obesity related comorbidities, as well as anatomical nutritional changes. Many of these changes aren’t very well understood and they explain that more needs to be done to investigate the full effects of weight loss on bone physiology. They also highlight that as this is an observational study, no definite conclusions can be drawn from the results about cause and effect. They do however go on to call for more research on management strategies to counter the supposed effects of weight loss surgery that have been highlighted in this study.

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