Bariatric surgery improves metabolic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease markers in metabolically healthy patients with morbid obesity at 5 years

Published:August 11, 2021DOI:


      • 21.5% of morbid-obese candidates for bariatric surgery fulfilled the MHMO criteria.
      • NAFLD and cardiometabolic markers improved at 1 year after surgery in MHMO.
      • Markers remained below baseline at 5 years post-surgery except for A1C.
      • 76% of MUMO subjects shift to metabolically healthy at 5 years after surgery.



      No studies have evaluated the effect of metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cardiometabolic markers in metabolically healthy patients with morbid obesity (MHMO) at midterm.


      To assess the effect of MBS on NAFLD and cardiometabolic markers in MHMO patients and ascertain whether metabolically unhealthy patients with morbid obesity (MUMO) remain metabolically healthy at 5 years after MBS.


      University hospital.


      A total of 191 patients with a body mass index >40 kg/m2 and at least 5 years of follow-up were retrospectively analyzed. Lost to follow-up were 37.6% (151 of 401 patients). Patients were classified as MHMO if 1 or 0 of the cardiometabolic markers were present using the Wildman criteria. The degree of liver fibrosis was assessed using the NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS).


      Forty-one patients (21.5%) fulfilled the criteria for MHMO. They showed significant improvements in blood pressure (from 135.1 ± 22.1 and 84.2 ± 14.3 mm Hg to 117.7 ± 19.2 and 73.0 ± 10.9 mm Hg), plasma glucose (from 91.0 ± 5.6 mg/dL to 87.2 ± 5.2 mg/dL), homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (from 2.2 ± .9 to 1.0 ± .8), triglycerides (from 88.0 [range, 79.5–103.5] mg/dL to 61.0 [range, 2.0–76.5] mg/dL), alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase NFS (from −1.0 ± 1.0 to −1.9 ± 1.2), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (from 56.9 ± 10.5 mg/dL to 77.9 ± 17.4 mg/dL) at 5 years after surgery. A total of 108 MUMO patients (84.4%) who became metabolically healthy after 1 year stayed healthy at 5 years.


      MBS induced a midterm improvement in cardiometabolic and NAFLD markers in MHMO patients. Seventy-six percent of MUMO patients became metabolically healthy at 5 years after MBS.

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