Obesity, Hypertension, and Bariatric Surgery

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2020 Jun 26;22(7):46. doi: 10.1007/s11906-020-01049-x.


Purpose of review: Obesity increases the risk of hypertension. However, blood pressure decreases before any significant loss of body weight after bariatric surgery. We review the mechanisms of the temporal dissociation between blood pressure and body weight after bariatric surgery.

Recent findings: Restrictive and bypass bariatric surgery lower blood pressure and plasma leptin levels within days of the procedure in both hypertensive and normotensive morbidly obese patients. Rapidly decreasing plasma leptin levels and minimal loss of body weight point to reduced sympathetic nervous system activity as the underlying mechanism of rapid blood pressure decline after bariatric surgery. After the early rapid decline, blood pressure does not decrease further in patients who, while still obese, experience a steady loss of body weight for the subsequent 12 months. The divergent effects of bariatric surgery on blood pressure and body weight query the role of excess body weight in the pathobiology of the obesity phenotype of hypertension. The decrease in blood pressure after bariatric surgery is moderate and independent of body weight. The lack of temporal relationship between blood pressure reduction and loss of body weight for 12 months after sleeve gastrectomy questions the nature of the mechanisms underlying obesity-associated hypertension.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; Bariatric surgery; Hypertension; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / etiology
  • Obesity, Morbid* / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss