Ethnic minority adults have disproportionately higher rates of obesity than Caucasians but are less likely to undergo bariatric surgery. Recent data suggest that minorities might be less likely to seek surgery. Whether minorities who seek surgery are also less likely to proceed with surgery is unclear.
We interviewed 651 patients who sought bariatric surgery at two academic medical centers to examine whether ethnic minorities are less likely to proceed with surgery than Caucasians and whether minorities who do proceed with surgery have higher illness burden than their counterparts. We collected patient demographics and abstracted clinical data from the medical records. We then conducted multivariable analyses to examine the association between race and the likelihood of proceeding with bariatric surgery within 1 year of initial interview and to compare the illness burden by race and ethnicity among those who underwent surgery.
Of our study sample, 66 % were Caucasian, 18 % were African-American, and 12 % were Hispanics. After adjustment for socioeconomic factors, there were no racial differences in who proceeded with bariatric surgery. Among those who proceeded with surgery, illness burden was comparable between minorities and Caucasian patients with the exception that African-Americans were underrepresented among those with reflux disease (0.4, 95 % CI 0.2–0.7) and depression (0.4, 0.2–0.7), and overrepresented among those with anemia (4.8, 2.4–9.6) than Caucasian patients.
Race and ethnicity were not independently associated with likelihood of proceeding with bariatric surgery. Minorities who proceeded with surgery did not clearly have higher illness burden than Caucasian patients.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Ogden CL (2012) Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among US adults, 1999–2010. JAMA 307(5):491–497
Calzada PJ, Anderson-Worts P (2009) The obesity epidemic: are minority individuals equally affected? Prim Care 36(2):307–317
Vu L, Switzer NJ, De Gara C, Karmali S (2013) Surgical interventions for obesity and metabolic disease. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 27(2):239–246
Wallace AE, Young-Xu Y, Hartley D, Weeks WB (2010) Racial, socioeconomic, and rural–urban disparities in obesity-related bariatric surgery. Obes Surg 20(10):1354–1360
Mainous AG, Johnson SP, Saxena SK, Wright RU (2013) Inpatient bariatric surgery among eligible black and white men and women in the United States, 1999–2010. Am J Gastroenterol 108(8):1218–1223
Martin M, Beekley A, Kjorstad R, Sebesta J (2010) Socioeconomic disparities in eligibility and access to bariatric surgery: a national population-based analysis. Surg Obes Relat Dis 6(1):8–15
Lynch CS, Chang JC, Ford AF, Ibrahim SA (2007) Obese African-American women’s perspectives on weight loss and bariatric surgery. J Gen Intern Med 22(7):908–914
Wee CC, Hamel MB, Apovian CM, Blackburn GL, Bolcic-Jankovic D, Colten ME, Hess DT, Huskey KW, Marcantonio ER, Schneider BE, Jones DB (2013) Expectations for weight loss and willingness to accept risk among patients seeking weight loss surgery. JAMA Surg 148(3):264–271
Wee CCHK, Bolcic-Jankovic D, Colten ME, Davis RB, Hamel MB (2014) Sex, race, and consideration of bariatric surgery among primary care patients with moderate and severe obesity. J Gen Intern Med 29(1):68–75
Pickett-Blakely OE, Huizinga MM, Clark JM (2012) Sociodemographic trends in bariatric surgery utilization in the USA. Obes Surg 22(5):838–842
Santry HP, Gillen DL, Lauderdale DS (2005) Trends in bariatric surgical procedures. JAMA 294(15):1909–1917
The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (R01DK073302, PI Wee). Dr. Wee is also supported by a NIH Midcareer Mentorship Award (K24DK087932). The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; and preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. Ms. Chiodi has full access to the data and takes responsibility for the integrity and accuracy of the data.
Drs. Stanford, Schneider, Blackburn, Apovian, Hess, Wee, Ms. Chiodi, Robert, and Bourland have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose. Dr. Jones a consultant for Allurion, a satiety device company.
About this article
Cite this article
Stanford, F.C., Jones, D.B., Schneider, B.E. et al. Patient race and the likelihood of undergoing bariatric surgery among patients seeking surgery. Surg Endosc 29, 2794–2799 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-014-4014-8
- Bariatric surgery
- Insurance coverage
- Vulnerable populations
- Social class
- Ethnic minorities