Insurance status differences in weight loss and regain over 5 years following bariatric surgery

Erin Takemoto, Bruce M. Wolfe, Corey L. Nagel, Walter Pories, David R. Flum, Alfons Pomp, James Mitchell, Janne Boone-Heinonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The effectiveness of bariatric surgery among Medicaid beneficiaries, a population with a disproportionately high burden of obesity, remains unclear. We sought to determine if weight loss and regain following bariatric surgery differed in Medicaid patients compared to commercial insurance. Subjects/methods: Data from the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery, a ten-site observational cohort of adults undergoing bariatric surgery (2006-2009) were examined for patients who underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB), Laparoscopic Adjustable Band (LAGB), or Sleeve Gastrectomy (SG). Using piecewise spline linear mixed-effect models, weight change over 5 years was modeled as a function of insurance type (Medicaid, N = 190; commercially insured, N = 1448), time, procedure type, and sociodemographic characteristics; additionally, interactions between all time, insurance, and procedure type indicators allowed time-and procedure-specific associations with insurance type. For each time-spline, mean (kg) difference in weight change in commercially insured versus Medicaid patients was calculated. Results: Medicaid patients had higher mean weight at baseline (138.3 kg vs. 131.2 kg). From 0 to 1 year post-operatively, Medicaid patients lost similar amounts of weight to commercial patients following all procedure types (mean weight Δ difference [95% CI]: RYGB:-0.9 [-3.2, 1.4]; LAGB:-1.5 [-6.7, 3.8]; SG: 5.1 [-4.0, 14.2]). From 1 to 3 years post-operatively Medicaid and commercial patients continued to experience minimal weight loss or began to slowly regain weight (mean weight Δ difference [95% CI]: RYGB: 0.9 [0.0, 2.0]; LAGB:-2.1 [-4.2, 0.1]; SG: 0.7 [-3.0, 4.3]). From 3 to 5 years post-operatively, the rate of regain tended to be faster among commercial patients compared to Medicaid patients (mean weight Δ difference [95% CI]: RYGB: 1.1 [0.1, 2.0]; LAGB: 1.5 [-0.5, 3.5]; SG: 1.0 [-2.5, 4.5]). Conclusions: Although Medicaid patients had a higher baseline weight, they achieved similar amounts of weight loss and tended to regain weight at a slower rate than commercial patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1220
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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