Background: Obesity is highly prevalent in the Middle East. Treatment is a challenge and with an aging population, therapy in the elderly poses new problems. Published data on efficacy of bariatric surgery in the older age groups are scant.
Aims: The objective of this study was to assess the outcomes of bariatric surgery (BS) in the elderly (≥65 years) in the UAE population.
Methods: ICLDC patient database was accessed to identify all patients with a history of BS after the age of 65. Anthropometric measurements, medications, diabetes status and HbA1c were extracted. Data are presented as median (interquartile range).
Results: 22 Emirati patients [12 females, age 66.9 (66.267.8) years, BMI 43.6 (40.446.8) kg/m2, 19 with type 2 diabetes with a duration of 6.75 (2.9413.21) years] who had sleeve gastrectomy (LSG, n=15) or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB, n=7) were identified. At two years after surgery there was significant weight loss of 23.9 (15.428.5) % (P< 0.001) with a BMI reduction of 10.8 (6.713.9) kg/m2. Total weight loss was comparable between LSG and RYGB (P= 0.238). Median reduction in HbA1c was 0.9 (0.61.3) % at two years after surgery. Two patients who had impaired fasting glucose had normal glucose tolerance within six months after surgery. There was a significant dose reduction amongst insulin treated patients [n=11; 120 (70165) vs. 25 (2035) units, P= 0.08)] with 4/11 patients completely off insulin. Duration of diabetes had no effect on weight loss or HbA1c reduction post BS. Reported adverse effects included iron and vitamin D deficiency (n=14).
Conclusions: Our data suggest that successful weight loss and better glycaemic control can be achieved in the elderly and that age alone should not be considered a contraindication to bariatric surgery.