Men and Weight-loss Surgery

Did you know that men are much less likely to have weight loss surgery than women? A new study reports that 80 percent of patients who receive weight-loss surgery in the United States are female, despite equal rates of obesity among American men and women. The study cites that there are demographic, socioeconomic and cultural factors contributing to this major gender disparity.

The researchers found that some of this imbalance is cultural — women seem to be more aware of the health problems associated with obesity. They tend to be much more willing to look at surgical weight loss earlier in life, whereas men tend to wait until they have more obesity-related problems. The researchers also found that age also plays a part. This is important to note, because looking at effective treatment options early can reduce rates of serious complications like diabetes.  More men seek bariatric surgery as they age. When people get into their 70s, there are still more women than men, but the split narrows to about 70 percent women to 30 percent men. Men begin to seek bariatric surgery in greater numbers once they get sicker and older. Changing this dynamic could not only improve the qualities of lives, but could save lives.

Another factor that supports the higher rate of women undergoing surgery is greater eligibility. A recent analysis of trends in U.S. bariatric surgery found an overall larger proportion of females were eligible for surgery from 1999-2010. Additionally, the proportion held true across ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Bariatric surgery contributes to improving medical conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis and sleep apnea. The findings this study should raise awareness in men about the complications that obesity brings to their health. Earlier intervention can reduce or eliminate these complications. At Provost Bariatrics, we are here to help all of our patients through the weight-loss process. We will walk with you every step of the way, to assist you in every aspect of your decision. Call us today at 254-724-2397 to get started.

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