A genome-wide association study reveals that the amount of weight loss after gastric bypass surgery can be predicted by genetic factors.
The findings explain why the success of gastric bypass surgery varies so widely and could help clinicians identify those who would benefit the most from
this type of surgery.
"Surgery is the most effective therapy for severe obesity, but these procedures are invasive, and not all patients get the same degree of benefit," senior study author Lee Kaplan of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School said.
"If we can identify those patients who are likely to lose more weight after surgery from those who do less well, we could help steer patients towards the therapy that best suits them," Kaplan said.
Individuals who undergo gastric bypass surgery lose on average about 35% to 40% of their initial weight and keep most of this weight off.
But the amount of weight lost by different patients varies by a factor of four, and it is not understood what causes this wide difference in response.