Long-term health-related quality of life in bariatric surgery patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Jan;24(1):60-70. doi: 10.1002/oby.21322. Epub 2015 Dec 6.


Objective: Bariatric surgery results in significant weight loss in the majority of patients. Improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an equally important outcome; however, there are few studies reporting long-term (≥5 years) HRQoL outcomes. This study assesses the quality of evidence and effectiveness of surgery on HRQoL ≥ 5 years.

Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Review, EmBase, CINANL, PsycInfo, obesity conference abstracts, and reference lists were searched. Keywords were bariatric surgery, obesity, and quality of life. Studies were included if (1) there was ≥5 years follow-up, (2) patients had class II or III obesity, (3) individuals completed a validated HRQoL survey, and (4) there was a nonsurgical comparison group with obesity. Two reviewers independently assessed each study.

Results: From 1376 articles, 9 studies were included in the systematic review (SR) and 6 in the meta-analysis (MA). Inconsistent results for long-term improvements in physical and mental health emerged from the SR. In contrast, the MA found significant improvements in these domains ≥5 years after surgery.

Conclusions: Study findings provide evidence for a substantial and significant improvement in physical and mental health favoring the surgical group compared with controls spanning 5 to 25 years after surgery.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery / psychology
  • Bariatric Surgery / rehabilitation*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / rehabilitation
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors