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Research Letter
December 19, 2018

Association of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery With Telomere Length in Patients With Obesity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
  • 2Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
  • 3Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Surg. Published online December 19, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.4830

Severe obesity is the leading public health crisis in the industrialized world and affects men and women of all races/ethnicities and socioeconomic status.1 Along with obesity, aging-related dementia risk factors include insulin resistance, lipid abnormality, and inflammation.2,3 Other age-related changes include telomere shortening, which has implications such as genomic instability and cancer and has been shown to be associated with high body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared).4 Telomeres are repeating strands of DNA that flank mammalian chromosomes and thus protect coding DNA from progressive degradation after each replication. In the peripheral blood, telomeres progressively shorten with the aging process and have a negative correlation with oxidative stress and a severe inflammatory state.3,4 Data are currently mixed on the association between surgical weight loss and telomere length.5,6 Our primary goal in this study was to examine whether telomeres lengthen in obese patients before and after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery.

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