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Obes Res. 2003 Dec;11(12):1519-25.

Bariatric surgeries in north Carolina, 1990 to 2001: a gender comparison.

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  • 1Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, CB#7590, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7590, USA.



The purpose of this research was to determine the number of bariatric procedures in obese men and women in a well-defined population and to examine gender differences among bariatric patients.


Data on bariatric patients were taken from the North Carolina Hospital Discharge Database, which contains information on all nonfederal hospital discharges in North Carolina from 1990 to 2001. Using North Carolina Hospital Discharge Data, Census North Carolina resident estimates, and North Carolina obesity prevalence estimates, we constructed annual rates for bariatric procedures for the obese male and female population in North Carolina.


Overall, 2197 bariatric procedures were performed between 1990 and 2001. The annual rate of bariatric procedures in obese women increased rapidly, particularly between 1998 and 2001, whereas the increase for men was considerably less than that for women. Controlling for age and year of procedure, the odds ratio for obese female North Carolina residents of having a bariatric procedure was 4.96 (95% confidence interval: 4.39, 5.59) and of having a Roux-en-Y procedure was 5.57 (95% confidence interval: 4.67, 6.64) compared with obese male North Carolina residents. Controlling for age, comorbidity burden, payment source, and year of procedure, obese male North Carolina residents had a significantly greater (22%) amount of inpatient days than obese female North Carolina residents.


After controlling for population rates of obesity and year of procedure, women are more likely than men to undergo bariatric surgery, suggesting that gender-related factors may influence use. More research is needed to determine the causes for this large gender disparity.

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