Bariatric metabolic surgery eliminates body mass index as a risk factor for unemployment

Published:October 27, 2022DOI:


      • Prior to BMS, an increased BMI and ASA were risk factors for unemployment.
      • The unemployment rate dropped significantly after 24 months but increased to the baseline rate after 60 months, independent of BMI reduction.
      • BMI and weight reduction were no longer predictive factors for unemployment after 24 and 60 months.



      The effects of bariatric metabolic surgery (BMS) on health and comorbidities are well-known. Socioeconomic factors have been increasingly in focus in recent investigations.


      The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of BMS on predictive variables for unemployment.


      This study as performed in one reference center for BMS. Patients were treated between 2011 and 2017.


      The study design was a retrospective cohort study. Inclusion criteria were Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, follow-up of 60 months, and complete data on employment rate. Exclusion criteria were secondary BMS, secondary referral, loss of follow-up, or patients aged 60 years and above. Patients were stratified as employed independent of part-time work and as unemployed if the patient had no current employment at the time of the visit. Follow-up visits were performed after 6, 12, 24, 48, and 60 months.


      This study included 623 patients; prior to BMS, 239 (38.36%) patients were employed and 384 (61.64%) unemployed. Risk factors for baseline unemployment included increased body mass index (BMI) (odds ratio [OR], 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.05; P = .010) and increased American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) score (OR, 3.55; 95% CI, 2.56 to 4.90; P < .001). Unemployment rate dropped to 32.4% after 24 months (P < .001) and increased to 62.8% after 60 months. The BMI continuously decreased. Following BMS, the unemployment rate was no longer associated with BMI (24 months: OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.01; P = .220; 60 months: 1.04; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.11; P = .269). The initial ASA status remained associated with unemployment (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.60 to 3.01; P < .001).


      BMI showed some association with the unemployment rate prior to BMI. The unemployment rate significantly decreased 24 months after BMS but increased to baseline values after 60 months. Following BMS, BMI was no longer associated with unemployment.


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