Introduction: Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is an underreported micronutrient deficiency after bariatric surgery (BS). Objectives: The goal of this study was to characterize VAD prevalence in patients undergoing malabsorptive and restrictive procedures up to 2 years postoperatively. Methods: Primary sleeve gastrectomy (SG; n = 322) and gastric bypass (GB; n = 249) patients were reviewed. Levels for overall VAD (oVAD; retinol <39 mcg/dL) and moderate VAD (mVAD; retinol <30 mcg/dL) were reported preoperatively and 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. Differences in demographic, surgical, and postoperative data were tested between these groups. Settings: Single-center academic institution. Results: Serum retinol levels were documented for 56%, 74%, 61%, and 37% of patients for listed time points. Baseline retinol inversely correlated to preop body mass index (BMI) (R = -0.15, P = .007). Both oVAD and mVAD peaked 6 months postoperatively (33% vs. 15%, P < .005; 12% vs. 4%, P = .0004, respectively). oVAD remained elevated at 24 months (22% vs. 15%, P = .03). Compared to SG, oVAD was higher following GB at 6 months (39% vs. 28%, P = .001) and 12 months (26% vs. 17%, P = .04), and mVAD was greater with GB at 6 months (18% vs. 6%, P < .0005). African American patients had higher oVAD/mVAD preoperatively (26% vs. 13%, P = .02; 13% vs. 3%, P = .001, respectively) and at 6 months (19% vs. 10%, P = .04). Prior mild VAD (retinol 1.05-1.35 μM) was significantly associated with mVAD up to 12 months postoperatively. Conclusions: Although higher following LRYGB, VAD is prevalent following both malabsorptive and restrictive procedures. Preoperative serum retinol is inversely correlated to increasing BMI, and African American race and mild VAD are associated with moderate VAD.
Keywords: bariatric surgery; micronutrient deficiency after bariatric surgery; vitamin A.
Conflict of interest statement
No competing financial interests exist.
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