OBESITY SURGERY IN OLDER FOLKS
ANCHOR LEAD : MORE AND MORE PEOPLE IN THE 60 PLUS AGE GROUP ARE HAVING OBESITY SURGERY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The rate of obesity surgery in those aged 55 to 64 has jumped nearly 2000% since 1998, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports. Thomas Magnuson, director of obesity surgery at Johns Hopkins, says several factors have led to the increase.
MAGNUSON: I think historically the obesity surgery tended to be focused in younger age groups because people were reluctant to do surgery in someone over the age of 60 or 65, just because they perceived there would be higher risk and perhaps less benefit, but I think we’re realizing now that as the operations become more safe, that we can do them safely and effectively in people who are over the age of 60 or 65, and they do derive benefit from losing weight and a lot of that benefit is in quality of life. Although we do tend to get rid of problems like diabetes and hypertension, it also dramatically improves quality of life. :31
Magnuson reminds those considering obesity surgery to choose both a surgeon and a center with lots of experience, since that’s where outcomes tend to be best. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.