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Research Letter
November 2015

Effect of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery: Converting 2 Alcoholic Drinks to 4

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri
  • 2Atkins Center of Excellence in Obesity Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri
  • 3Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(11):1096-1098. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.1884

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the most common bariatric surgical procedure performed in the world.1 Although RYGB surgery causes a marked reduction in food intake and induces remission of food addiction,2 it is associated with an increased risk of developing alcohol use disorders.3 It is likely that RYGB-related changes in gastrointestinal anatomy alter the pharmacokinetics and subjective effects of ingested alcohol,4 which contributes to the increased risk of alcohol use disorders. However, results from previous studies are limited because (1) blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) were measured in venous blood samples, which underestimates the peak BAC delivered to the brain in patients who have had RYGB surgery, and (2) the subjective effects of alcohol have not been assessed using validated questionnaires. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of RYGB on the pharmacokinetics and subjective effects of ingested alcohol, using arterialized blood samples and a validated questionnaire.

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