High estimated prevalence of bariatric surgery in young adults treated for pediatric obesity.


Brissman M(1), Lindberg L(2), Beamish AJ(3), Marcus C(2), Hagman E(2).
Author information:
(1)Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Division of Pediatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; Allied Health Professionals Function, Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Division of Pediatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.
(3)Department of Gastrosurgical Research, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden; Swansea University Medical School, Swansea, United Kingdom.


BACKGROUND: Despite the modest effects of behavioral treatment on obesity in adolescence, bariatric surgery is rarely performed. Obesity often persists from childhood to adulthood, but it is not known how many individuals proceed with bariatric surgery in young adulthood. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine what proportion of individuals who received pediatric behavioral obesity treatment subsequently underwent bariatric surgery in early adulthood, and to identify predictors thereof. SETTING: National registries, Sweden. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, the Swedish Childhood Obesity Treatment Register was linked to several national registers. RESULTS: The childhood obesity cohort included 6502 (45% females) with a median age at follow-up of 21.7 years (interquartile range [IQR] 5.2). Of these, 8.2% underwent bariatric surgery at a median age of 20.9 years (IQR 4.2). The estimated cumulative incidence of bariatric surgery at age 30 was 21.5%. Obesity-related co-morbidities were identified in 31.7% before bariatric surgery in the childhood obesity cohort. Predictors of bariatric surgery were female sex, high body mass index standard deviation score (BMI SDS) at the start and end of treatment, poor treatment response, as well as own or parental cardiometabolic disease. CONCLUSIONS: More than a fifth are estimated to undergo bariatric surgery in early adulthood, despite having received pediatric behavioral obesity treatment. Our results indicate that for many children, behavioral treatment is insufficient in reducing obesity and preventing obesity-related co-morbidity. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that more effective treatment of adolescents with severe obesity, including more rigorous behavioral support and pharmacologic treatment, but also more frequent use of bariatric surgery, would benefit this group of patients.