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Health Agencies Update
August 24/31, 2005

Weight-Loss Surgeries Up

JAMA. 2005;294(8):893. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.893-a

The number of Americans seeking to reduce their weight through bariatric surgery more than quadrupled between 1998 and 2002—from 13 386 to 71 733—according to a new study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Encinosa et al. Health Aff [Millwood]. 2005;24:1039-1046).

The authors said that surgeries were performed on 0.6% of the 11.5 million adults eligible in 2002. Hospital costs for the surgery grew 6-fold to $948 million in that year. As the number of medically eligible candidates (those with a body mass index greater than 40) is likely to increase and safety concerns of the procedure diminish, the authors predict that the future demand for weight-loss surgery will rise.

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