Bette Davis once said “old age is no place for sissies.” I suppose there is a good deal of truth in that. Just as aging has its benefits, it also has its challenges. Health issues are most certainly among those challenges. We are finite and prone to wear. Hence such terms as “She looks great….for her age.”
In my youth I either looked great or I did not. Age had nothing to do with it. But, as friends sometimes compliment, I still look pretty good…for my age.
That is just the visible wear. The physical stuff can be measured by secreting a peek into any medicine chest of older adults. Prescriptions are lined up as neat as little soldiers. It used to be just toothpaste, a tooth brush, and band aids but now…well, I still look pretty good…for my age.
While I do not yet have senior status, I am moving steadily in that direction. Then again, who isn’t?
The thing is, senior status is now closer when it used to be further. Quality of life is more important than even before. If weight loss surgery is a medical tool that can enhance that quality for seniors then they should pursue it if they wish. After all, they’re all grown up now, right?
Seniors and Weight Loss Surgery
Seniors are opting more for weight loss surgery, and research suggests that older adults can benefit as much or more from weight loss surgery than younger people.
A study conducted at Columbia University’s Center for Obesity Surgery concluded that patients over the age of sixty benefited as much as their younger counterparts while having similar rates of post-operative complications.
Another study focused on seniors who had gastric bypass surgeries performed at the University of South Florida and the University of Miami. The study concluded that the weight loss surgery garnered good results and improved quality of live. The mortality rate among senior patients after the weight loss surgery was about the same as it was for seniors who had heart-bypass or hip replacement surgeries.
Obesity Among the Elderly
A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that Americans peak in weight in their early sixties just prior to retirement. The percentage of seniors who are obese and over age seventy is about the same as young adults who are between the ages of eighteen an twenty-nine.
Obesity among baby-boomers has led to an increase in arthritis when compared to the prior generation. Arthritis risks rose in tandem with obesity, and cases of arthritis among rose from 3% to 18% between 1971 and 2002.
Mortality Rates Among Seniors Following Gastric Bypass
Although the length of time spent in the hospital following gastric bypass surgery was a bit longer for the elderly, the mortality rates among this group were no different than younger patients at the thirty day mark.
The study done in Florida based on data gathered from the Universities of South Florida and Miami showd that the overall mortality rate among seniors who have had weight loss surgery is about twice that of younger patients.
Still, the benefits outweigh the risks, and many insurance carriers cover bariatric surgery because the operation costs less than the long-term funding that is needed to treat obesity-related illnesses.
Aging on MSNBC.co http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9409648/ns/health-aging/t/more-obese-seniors-choosing-gastric-bypass/ - accessed 6/2/12
Internal MedicineNews study-mortality-after-bariatric-surgery-not-higher-for-elderly - accessed 6/2/12
Senior Journal.com http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Health/2010/20100804-ObesityReportShows.htm - accessed 6/2/12
Senior Journal .com http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Boomers/5-08-17BoomersHeavier.htm - accessed 6/2/12
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.
Published On: June 08, 2012