Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery: Do Clinical and Behavioral Factors Explain Racial Differences?

Christina C. Wee, Daniel B. Jones, Caroline Apovian, Donald T. Hess, Sarah N. Chiodi, Ashley C. Bourland, Roger B. Davis, Benjamin Schneider, George L. Blackburn, Edward R. Marcantonio, Mary Beth Hamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Prior studies have suggested less weight loss among African American compared to Caucasian patients; however, few studies have been able to simultaneously account for baseline differences in other demographic, clinical, or behavioral factors. Methods: We interviewed patients at two weight loss surgery (WLS) centers and conducted chart reviews before and after WLS. We compared weight loss post-WLS by race/ethnicity and examined baseline demographic, clinical (BMI, comorbidities, quality of life), and behavioral (eating behavior, physical activity level, alcohol intake) factors that might explain observed racial differences in weight loss at 1 and 2 years after WLS. Results: Of 537 participants who underwent either Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (54%) or gastric banding (46%), 85% completed 1-year follow-up and 73% completed 2-year follow-up. Patients lost a mean of 33.00% of initial weight at year 1 and 32.43% at year 2 after bypass and 16.07% and 17.56 % respectively after banding. After adjustment for other demographic characteristics and type of surgery, African Americans lost an absolute 5.93 ± 1.49% less weight than Caucasian patients after bypass (p < 0.001) and 4.72 ± 1.96% less weight after banding. Of the other demographic, clinical, behavioral factors considered, having diabetes and perceived difficulty making dietary changes at baseline were associated with less weight loss among gastric bypass patients whereas having a diagnosis of anxiety disorder was associated with less weight loss among gastric banding patients. The association between race and weight loss did not substantially attenuate with additional adjustment for these clinical and behavioral factors, however. Conclusion: African American patients lost significantly less weight than Caucasian patients. Racial differences could not be explained by baseline demographic, clinical, or behavioral characteristics we examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2873-2884
Number of pages12
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric banding
  • Race
  • Roux-Y gastric bypass
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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