September 11, 2023

Bariatric surgery linked to suicide risks in obese patients

Editor's Note

This multisite study, led by Durham VA Medical Center and Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, finds that bariatric surgery is associated with greater risks of suicidal ideation (ie, suicidal thoughts or ideas) and suicide attempts than nonsurgical treatments in obese patients.

For the analysis, 38,199 patients in the ideation cohort and 38,661 patients in the attempt cohort were matched with nonsurgical control patients.

In the suicidal ideation cohort, 41.8% were treated for depression, 40.9% had a nonrecent depression diagnosis, and 4.1% had past suicidal ideation or suicide attempts.

Adjusted regression analysis found that the risk of suicidal ideation was significantly higher for surgical patients, compared with nonsurgical patients, as was the risk of suicide attempt.

The findings suggest that bariatric surgery patients need careful monitoring for suicidal ideation and additional psychological support postoperatively, the researchers say.


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