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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Jan;24(1):60-70. doi: 10.1002/oby.21322. Epub 2015 Dec 6.

Long-term health-related quality of life in bariatric surgery patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, Health Sciences Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
  • 2School of Pharmacy, Memorial University, Health Sciences Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.



Bariatric surgery results in significant weight loss in the majority of patients. Improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an equally important outcome; however, there are few studies reporting long-term (≥5 years) HRQoL outcomes. This study assesses the quality of evidence and effectiveness of surgery on HRQoL ≥ 5 years.


PubMed, Cochrane Review, EmBase, CINANL, PsycInfo, obesity conference abstracts, and reference lists were searched. Keywords were bariatric surgery, obesity, and quality of life. Studies were included if (1) there was ≥5 years follow-up, (2) patients had class II or III obesity, (3) individuals completed a validated HRQoL survey, and (4) there was a nonsurgical comparison group with obesity. Two reviewers independently assessed each study.


From 1376 articles, 9 studies were included in the systematic review (SR) and 6 in the meta-analysis (MA). Inconsistent results for long-term improvements in physical and mental health emerged from the SR. In contrast, the MA found significant improvements in these domains ≥5 years after surgery.


Study findings provide evidence for a substantial and significant improvement in physical and mental health favoring the surgical group compared with controls spanning 5 to 25 years after surgery.

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