Are African-Americans as successful as Caucasians after laparoscopic gastric bypass?

Obes Surg. 2007 Apr;17(4):460-4. doi: 10.1007/s11695-007-9083-5.


Background: Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP) has been demonstrated to provide weight loss comparable to open gastric bypass. It has been suggested that African-Americans (AA) are not as successful as Caucasians (CA) after bariatric surgery. Our hypothesis was that AAs are just as successful as CA after LRYGBP in terms of weight loss and comorbidity improvement.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on all AA and CA patients who underwent LRYGBP for a 6-month period. Success after LRYGBP [defined as (1) 25% loss of preoperative weight, (2) 50% excess weight loss (EWL), or (3) weight loss to within 50% ideal weight] was compared by ethnicity.

Results: 102 patients were included in this study. 97 patients (30 AA patients and 67 CA patients) had at least 1-year follow-up data available. Preoperative data did not differ between both groups. There was a statistically significant difference in %EWL between AA and CA (66% vs 74%; P<0.05). However, there was no ethnic difference in the percentage of patients with successful weight loss (as defined by any of the above 3 criteria). Furthermore, there was no statistical difference between the percentages of AA and CA patients who had improved or resolved diabetes and hypertension.

Conclusions: LRYGBP offers good weight loss in all patients. While there may be greater %EWL in CA patients, no ethnic difference in successful weight loss exists. More importantly, co-morbidities improve or resolve equally between AA and CA patients. LRYGBP should be considered successful in AA patients.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Body Mass Index
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastric Bypass*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss / ethnology*