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The Impact of Morbid Obesity and Bariatric Surgery on Comorbid Conditions: A Comprehensive Examination of Comorbidities in an Employed Population

Kleinman, Nathan L. PhD; Melkonian, Arthur MD; Borden, Spencer IV MD, MBA; Rohrbacker, Nicholas MS; Lynch, Wendy D. PhD; Gardner, Harold H. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 2 - p 170-179
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31818def04
Original Articles

Objective: Find conditions with significantly different prevalence among employees diagnosed with morbid obesity (DMO). Examine the effect of bariatric surgery on the prevalence of all categories of comorbid conditions after surgery.

Methods: This large employer retrospective database analysis used matching to create two cohorts: Those with a DMO and those without.

Results: The DMO cohort had higher diagnosis rates in every Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality major diagnostic category except pregnancy, and it had significantly higher prevalence in 147 of 261 Agency for Health care Research and Quality specific categories. Those electing to undergo bariatric surgery experienced significant prevalence decreases in 26 of 261 specific categories.

Conclusion: Employees DMO are at higher risk for many serious diseases. Bariatric surgery has been effective in promoting weight loss and decreasing the rates of many serious comorbidities.

From the Human Capital Management Services Group, Inc, Cheyenne, Wyoming (Drs Kleinman, Melkonian, Mr Rohrbacker, Drs Lynch, Gardner); and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc (Dr Borden).

Address correspondence to: Nathan L. Kleinman, PhD, Human Capital Management Services Group, Inc, 1800 Carey Ave, Suite 300, Cheyenne, WY 82001; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine