Weight loss surgery may add risk to attempting suicide, says study

Overweight or obese
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Obese or overweight people who undergo surgery to shed extra pounds are more likely to commit suicide than others of the same problem. Instead, those following other strategies to remove excess weight are stable, said a study.

The researchers examined health reports from two obese patients who either got bariatric surgery or tried for other approaches or lifestyles to shed the excess pounds. However, surgical patients were found to have three times more likely to attempt suicide and harm themselves than others who actually tried different approaches or intensive lifestyle to keep weight off.

"We believe that the benefits of bariatric surgery, including lower mortality, outweigh our findings of an increased risk of suicide and self-harm," said lead author Martin Neovius, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.9 billion adults are found to be overweight or obese. Overweight may increase the potential risk of diseases such as heart attack, diabetes, joint disorders and other related cancers.

Following certain lifestyles like maintaining a healthy food habits and getting regular exercise may help to keep weight off or shed excess pounds in the short-term, but it may not produce effective results or lasting results among people who have beyond 100 pounds to arrive at a healthy body weight.

"Obese patients were potentially more likely to harm themselves provided they misused drugs or alcohol, "said researcher.

"The take-home message from this research is that bariatric surgery remains the most effective way of treating severe obesity," said Matthew Spittal, a researcher from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

The team of researchers wrote in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology that give reinforcement for bariatric patients who have thoroughly done pre-surgery, and give them the required information about the risk of self-harm along with the clear procedure and long-term follow-up.