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].
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.
Hampton T. Weight-Loss Surgeries Up. JAMA. 2005;294(8):893. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.893-a