Bariatric surgery resulted in cardiac improvements in obese teens that were sustained through two years.
Bariatric surgery led to sustained improvements in left ventricular mass and diastolic function in morbidly obese teenagers, a researcher reported here.
The gains were seen as early as six months after the operations and they persisted through two years, Holly Ippisch, MD, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital, reported at the American Heart Association meeting.
But, she noted, "even though the measures are significantly better, they're still not normal," indicating that interventions might have to occur sooner.
"These data support a more aggressive preventive approach to adolescent weight issues," Ippisch said.
The prevalence of childhood obesity has risen from about 5% in the 1970s to about 17% today, according to Stephen Daniels, MD, PhD, MPH, of Children's Hospital in Denver, who moderated a press conference at which the results were presented.
The severity of obesity has increased as well, he said, making bariatric surgery a treatment consideration for some of these kids.
Consensus criteria generally reserve bariatric surgery for children with a body mass index over over 50 kg/m2 or for those with a BMI over 40 kg/m2 and serious comorbidities such as obstructive sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes.
Ippisch said leaner children might qualify for bariatric surgery depending on the burden of comorbidities.