(HealthDay News) — Bariatric surgeries may provide long-lasting health benefits to very obese teenagers, according to a new study. The findings were published online Nov. 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with ObesityWeek 2015, a meeting hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society and held from Nov. 2 to 6 in Los Angeles.

A team led by Thomas Inge, M.D., Ph.D., of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, examined outcomes from gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy. The researchers tracked three-year outcomes for 242 very obese teens averaging 17 years of age. The teens had an average body mass index of 53 kg/m².

According to the researchers, the patients averaged a weight loss of about 27 percent over three years regardless of which surgery was used. The teens also generally felt that their quality of life had improved after the surgery. Ninety-five percent of patients who had had type 2 diabetes before their surgery were in remission from the disease three years later, and rates of remission for high cholesterol and hypertension were 66 and 74 percent, respectively. Marked improvements in kidney function were also noted. However, 13 percent of the teens had to undergo at least one more intra-abdominal procedure within the three years of their bariatric surgery, and 57 percent experienced hypoferritinemia.

“Studies that assess the longer-term durability of weight loss, potential improvements with respect to coexisting conditions, and the risk of adverse events, as well as the cost, may provide a better understanding of the role of bariatric surgery in the treatment of severe obesity in adolescents,” the authors write.

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