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Follow Up After Bariatric Surgery May Save Your Life- from Mary Jo Rapini
Suicide is one of those things you can never change your mind about. It is final, and it hurts everyone who ever loved or cared for the person who commits it. A recent study reports an increase in suicides two to three years after surgery.Considering that about 225,000 Americans are now having bariatric surgery each year, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, this is a problem we cannot ignore.The latest study, which tracked deaths among Pennsylvania residents who underwent bariatric surgery, examined a longer period than previous research — up to 10 years following the procedure. Among 16,683 who had bariatric surgery between 1995 and 2004, 31 committed suicide by the end of 2006, the researchers found. The data translate into a suicide rate of nearly 14 per 10,000 men per year, and five per 10,000 women each year. Those numbers are substantially higher than the suicide rates among Pennsylvanians in the same 35-to-64 age range, during the same period. Among all men in the state, the suicide rate in 2005 was 2.5 per 10,000, while the rate among women was 0.6 per 10,000. Overall, 30 percent of suicides in the surgery group occurred within two years of the procedure, and 70 percent occurred within three years.Study author, Dr. Hilary A. Tindle of the University of Pittsburgh, reports that the reasons for the higher suicide rates are unclear. She was not able to examine the details surrounding the individual suicides. She does state that this study does not imply bariatric surgery itself leads to suicide, but it may be the emotional conditions the patients suffered prior to bariatric surgery or they may have developed after the surgery which leads to suicide.