Substance use after bariatric surgery: A review.
BACKGROUND: Prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically. Obese individuals may undergo bariatric surgery to lose excessive body fat and mitigate obesity-related comorbidities. However, bariatric patients are particularly vulnerable to substance use problems. We conducted a review to examine the prevalence change and factors associated with substance use and determine the association between substance use and health status after weight loss among bariatric patients. METHODS: We searched peer-reviewed articles published between January 1990 and January 2015 in several databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar) using different keywords combinations. Studies that focused on pre-surgery substance use only or without reported effect measurements were excluded. RESULTS: Overall, 40 studies were included in the review. Preoperative history of substance use was a reliable correlate of postoperative substance use. The prevalence of postoperative alcohol use was higher among patients with preoperative history of alcohol use than those without. Postoperative prevalence of alcohol use ranged from 7.6% to 11.8%. No significant prevalence change in cigarette smoking from pre-to postoperative period was observed. Time effect was not observed on smoking or drug use prevalence, while an increase in alcohol consumption was inconsistent across studies. The proportion of new-onset substance users among bariatric patients after surgery ranged from 34.3% to 89.5%. CONCLUSION: Substance use is associated with poor health among bariatric patients. Preoperative assessment and postoperative follow-up should include interventions to reduce relapse among users and prevent substance use initiation.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)