Bariatric Surgery Among Medicare Subgroups: Short- and Long-Term Outcomes

Elizaveta Walker, Miriam Elman, Erin E. Takemoto, Erin Fennern, James E. Mitchell, Walter J. Pories, Bestoun Ahmed, Alfons Pomp, Bruce M. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study sought to examine weight change, postoperative adverse events, and related outcomes of interest among age-qualified (AQ) and disability-qualified (DQ) Medicare recipients compared with non-Medicare (NM) patients undergoing an initial bariatric procedure. Methods: The Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS-2) is an observational cohort study of 2,458 adults who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) bariatric surgery. Weight, percentage body fat, functional status, and comorbidities, as well as postoperative adverse events, were assessed at baseline and annually for 5 years. The 1,943 participants who reported insurance type were categorized into the following groups: AQ, DQ, or NM. Results: The median preoperative BMI ranged from 45 to 48 kg/m2 across groups. For RYGB, 5-year BMI loss was approximately 30% for all groups, and for LAGB, BMI loss was 12% to 15%. Diabetes remission after 5 years was also similar across groups within procedure types (RYGB: 33%-40%; LAGB: 13%-19%). The frequency of adverse events after RYGB ranged from 4.1% for NM participants to 6.7% for DQ participants. After LAGB, there were no adverse events for the AQ group, whereas 3% of DQ participants and 1.8% of NM participants had at least one adverse event. Conclusions: Medicare participants experienced substantial BMI loss and diabetes remission, with a frequency of adverse events similar to that of NM participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1820-1827
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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