STORIES OF THE WEEK

Monday, July 17, 2017            

The following is a summary/brief analysis of the obesity and surgery stories making news this week:

Gastric Bypass Surgery Linked to Increase Use of Sleep Medications… Low Bone Mineral Density May Decrease After RYGB… Company Raised Millions for U.S. Trial of Swallowable Weight Loss Balloon… Step Count Data Can Predict Obesity… Docs Should Counsel People with Healthy Weight on Diet, Exercise… Taller, Larger Men More Prone to Aggressive Prostate Cancer… Mother’s Soda Intake During Pregnancy Tied to Child’s Obesity Risk

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in the News…

Gastric Bypass Surgery May Increase Use of Sleep Medications
(Healio/Endocrine Today)

Adults with obesity who had gastric bypass surgery were twice as likely to initiate or increase their use of sleep medications in the 3 years after the procedure compared to matched adults who participated in intensive lifestyle modification, according to findings from a study published in Obesity. Researchers analyzed data from 20,626 adults with obesity who bariatric surgery and 11,973 adults with obesity who participated in lifestyle modification between 2007 and 2012. At 1 year, mean weight loss for the surgery cohort was 37 kg; mean weight loss for the lifestyle group was 18 kg. During follow-up, the risk for having filled a prescription for hypnotics or sedatives was higher in the surgery versus the intensive lifestyle group, with the RR increasing with longer follow-up and peaking at 3 years, according to researchers. In the matched treatment cohorts, 4% filled prescriptions for hypnotics and/or sedatives during the year before treatment. At 1 year, this proportion increased to 7% in the surgery cohort, but remained at 4% in the intensive lifestyle cohort. At 2 years, the proportion increased to 11% vs. 5%; at 3 years, the proportion increased to 14% vs. 6%.

BMD May Decrease After RYGB
(Healio/Endocrine Today)

Adults who have gastric bypass may have low bone mineral density that is correlated with the amount of weight lost and may be at risk for vitamin D and calcium deficiencies. Researchers evaluated 51 adults who had gastric bypass to determine BMD and fracture prevalence after surgery. Before surgery, mean BMI was 53.9 kg/m2. After surgery, mean maximum weight loss was 70.3 kg and mean net weight loss was 46.9 kg. Overall, 39% of participants had vitamin D deficiency, 35% had vitamin D insufficiency and 37% had secondary hyperparathyroidism. Distal radius z score and net change in BMI were negatively correlated, and net change in BMI was higher in participants with osteoporosis compared with those without. Findings of the study were published in Endocrine Practice.

This Company Raised $27 Million for a Weight Loss Balloon You Can Swallow
in a Pill
(Fortune)

Allurion Technologies raised $27 million to support its flagship product, Elipse Balloon, an inflatable gastric balloon that you can take in a pill, no surgery required. According to the company, clinical studies in Europe have shown that people treated with Elipse lost an average of 33 pounds. Allurion wants to use the money to both scale manufacturing and set up clinical trials in the U.S. that could eventually make the product available in America. "At Allurion, one of our goals is to disrupt the weight loss industry with products that are more effective than dieting but also affordable and scalable," said Allurion co-founder Dr. Shantanu Gaur in a statement. “…this system eliminate the need for surgery or anesthesia or other invasive procedures—it's much cheaper than the alternatives. We wanted to make weight loss affordable, since insurance usually won't cover a non-permanent weight loss method."

Obesity in the News…

The U.S. is One of the World's Laziest Countries — and It's Making Us Fat
(USA Today)

Findings of a global study by Stanford University researchers using step-counters installed in most smartphones to track the walking activity of about 700,000 people in 111 countries around the world for an average of 95 days show countries that have large differences in walking rates among citizens have higher levels of obesity than countries that don't see such a spread. The United States ranked fourth from the bottom in overall activity inequality, indicating a large gap between activity rich and activity poor. Meanwhile, it had high levels of obesity. The researchers also found that gender was a significant factor in country-to-country differences -- men walk more than women. But the researchers found that this gender gap varied from country to country. The study was published July 10 in the
journal Nature.

Docs Should Counsel Even Healthy People on Diet, Exercise, Experts Say (HealthDay)

Lifestyle counseling could help protect the long-term heart health of adults who aren't yet at high risk for heart attack and stroke, a panel of medical experts from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) said. The statement reaffirmed USPSTF 2012 recommendation that doctors consider extra counseling on diet and exercise even among their low-risk patients. "The Task Force encourages primary care clinicians to talk to their patients about eating healthy and physical activity," said task force vice chair Susan Curry. If patients are interested and motivated to make lifestyle changes, doctors should offer to refer them to counseling, she said. The final recommendation published July 11 concluded that primary care doctors should also consider offering healthy lifestyle behavioral counseling to patients who are at moderate or low risk for heart disease, including those who exercise and have a generally healthy diet.

Are Big Men More Prone to Aggressive Prostate Cancer? (HealthDay)

The larger a man, the greater his risk of getting and dying from aggressive prostate cancer, a new study suggests. Every additional 4 inches of height increased a man's chances of being diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer by 21%, and their odds of dying from prostate cancer by 17%t, researchers found. Every 4-inch increase in waist circumference increased the odds of developing aggressive prostate cancer by 13% and the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 18%. The findings are based on data from nearly 142,000 men in eight European countries who participated in a large-scale study of cancer and nutrition. Among these men, just over 7,000 developed prostate cancer during an average 14 years of follow-up, including 728 diagnosed with aggressive cancer and 1,388 with advanced-stage cancer. Of those diagnosed, 934 died from their cancer. The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Mother’s Soda Intake During Pregnancy Tied to Child’s Obesity Risk (Reuters)

In a study of more than 1,000 mother-child pairs, each additional serving of sugary soda per day consumed in pregnancy was associated with higher increments of waist size and body mass in kids years later. Researchers had in-person meetings with each woman at the end of her first and second trimesters, as well as during the first few months after her baby was born. In addition, kids were assessed in early childhood, around age 3, and in mid-childhood, around age 8. Mothers also completed mailed questionnaires every year for the child’s first six birthdays. More than half of mothers had consumed more than half a serving a day of non-diet soda during pregnancy, and nearly 10% had consumed two or more servings a day. Mothers who drank more sugary drinks during pregnancy tended to be younger, had higher prepregnancy BMI, lower education, lower income, shorter breastfeeding times and were more likely to have smoked during pregnancy.