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Int J Obes (Lond). 2012 Mar;36(3):328-35. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.159. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Incidence and prevalence of copper deficiency following roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. ngletsu@emory.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES:

The frequency of copper deficiency and clinical manifestations following roux-en-y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery is not yet clear. Objectives were to determine the prevalence and incidence of copper deficiency in patients who have undergone RYGB.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

We sought to determine the number of RYGB patients undergoing medical and nutritional follow-up visits at the Emory Bariatric Center who experienced copper deficiency and associated hematological and neurological complaints (n=136). Separately, in patients followed longitudinally before and during 6 and 24 months following RYGB surgery, we obtained measures of copper status (n=16). Systemic blood cell counts and measures of copper, zinc and ceruloplasmin were determined using standardized assays in reference laboratories including atomic absorption spectrometry and immunoassays.

RESULTS:

Thirteen patients were identified to have copper deficiency suggesting a prevalence of copper deficiency of 9.6%, and the majority of these had concomitant complications including anemia, leukopenia and various neuro-muscular abnormalities. In the longitudinal study, plasma copper concentrations and ceruloplasmin activity decreased over 6 and 24 months following surgery, respectively (P<0.05), but plasma zinc concentrations did not change. A simultaneous decrease in white blood cells was observed (P<0.05). The incidence of copper deficiency in these subjects was determined to be 18.8%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence and incidence of copper deficiency following RYGB surgery was determined to be 9.6% and 18.8%, respectively, with many patients experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms. Given that copper deficiency can lead to serious and irreversible complications if untreated, frequent monitoring of the copper status of RYGB patients is warranted.

Comment in

PMID:
21876546
PMCID:
PMC3748601
DOI:
10.1038/ijo.2011.159
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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