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Strength, BMD of Lumbar Spine Reduced After Sleeve Gastrectomy in Teens

Reductions in strength and trabecular BMD associated with reductions in BMI, visceral adipose tissue, muscle

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For adolescents, sleeve gastrectomy (SG) reduces strength and volumetric bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine, according to a study published online April 19 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Florian A. Huber, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a 12-month prospective nonrandomized study involving adolescents/young adults with obesity who underwent SG or were followed without surgery (29 and 30 individuals, respectively). Participants underwent quantitative computed tomography of L1 and L2 for biomechanical assessment and magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen and midthigh for body composition assessment at baseline and 12 months.

The researchers found that participants in the SG group lost an average of 34.3 ± 13.6 kg 12 months after surgery, whereas no change in weight was seen in controls. Compared with controls, in the SG group, there were significant reductions observed in abdominal adipose tissue and thigh muscle area. In the SG group, bone strength, bending stiffness, and average and trabecular volumetric BMD decreased compared with controls. After controlling for change in body mass index (BMI), the SG group had a significant 12-month reduction in cortical BMD compared with controls. There were associations seen for reductions in strength and trabecular BMD with reductions in BMI, visceral adipose tissue, and muscle.

“We hope that our study raises awareness of the importance of bone health after weight loss surgery, so physicians can make sure that children eat a healthy diet with enough calcium and vitamin D and engage in weight-bearing activity to build up muscle mass, which is good for bones,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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