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Gastric Banding in Obese Teenagers Improves Metabolic Parameters

In teenagers who are morbidly obese, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) can significantly improve and even reverse the metabolic syndrome, according to a study. 
“Although long-term studies are necessary, LAGB may be a useful intervention for refractory morbid obesity to decrease early development of comorbidities and cardiovascular adverse events in this young population,” the study team concludes in a meeting abstract.
 
Dr. Ilene Fennoy and colleagues from Columbia University Medical Center in New York analyzed anthropometric and metabolic parameters prior to and up to 1 year after gastric banding in 9 male and 15 female morbidly obese 14- to 17-year-olds. At baseline, 13 of the 24 study subjects met criteria for metabolic syndrome.
 
“Rapid improvement in metabolic syndrome parameters occurred during the first 6 months with continued but less dramatic changes to 12 months,” the researchers reported.
 
Six months after LAGB, a statistically significant decrease in body mass index (from 51.3 to 46.2) and waist circumference (from 141 to 131.2 cm) was noted, as expected.
 
Other parameters of the metabolic syndrome — triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, and blood levels of C-reactive protein — were also significantly reduced 6 months following gastric banding (p < 0.05 for all). These improvements continued to 1 year in the 12 patients who were tracked for this long.
 
Overall, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome dropped from 54.2% to 29.2%, the authors report. Among the 5 patients with 12-month follow up who met criteria for metabolic syndrome at baseline, only 2 still had metabolic syndrome at 1 year.
 
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is currently approved only in morbidly obese adults. Further studies, the researchers conclude, are needed to confirm that the procedure effectively improves the metabolic syndrome in adolescents.
 
Reported this week at The Endocrine Society’s 91st annual meeting in Washington, D.C.