Pre-op Alcohol Abuse Prevalence Among Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Omar Y Kudsi, MD, Karen Huskey, MPH, Shannon Grove, BA, George L Blackburn, MD PhD, Daniel B Jones, MD, Christina C Wee, MD MPH. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

 

Background
It has been hypothesized that alcohol metabolism is altered after weight loss surgery (WLS) with few studies suggesting a high prevalence of problem drinking post-op. However, these studies were methodologically limited by lack of pre-operative alcohol use, high loss to follow-up and/or nonsystematic ascertainment of alcohol (ETOH) intake. We sought to systematically characterize ETOH use among WLS patients before and after surgery.
Methods
Patients who underwent WLS from May 2008 through November 2010 from two bariatric centers in Boston were recruited for inclusion in the study. With a response rate of 75%, Alcohol intake and high risk drinking behavior was systematically assessed via phone interview using an adapted version of the AUDIT instrument among 653 obese patients before and after WLS. Data were kept confidential and not reported back to the Bariatric program. We used descriptive statistics to characterize drinking patterns by age and sex at baseline and plan interim analysis to examine change in ETOH use after WLS.
Results
The study cohort was mostly female (75%), the mean age was 44 years, the mean body mass index of the cohort was 46.5 km/m2, and 34% of the patients were non-white. At baseline, 71% were current drinkers, 5% were heavy regular drinkers, 16% were high-risk drinkers, and 4% abused alcohol. Men were significantly more likely to be high-risk drinkers and to abuse alcohol (see table1). High-risk drinking and abuse also significantly varied by age group (see table1).
Conclusion
This is the first large representative study to evaluate drinking patterns among WLS patients. The prevalence of disordered drinking appears to be comparable to that reported in the general population. Ongoing analysis will present data on any change in alcohol use after WLS and examine if this affects weight loss.

  Current drinkers Heavy regular drinkers High risk drinkers Alcohol abusers
N= 653 71% 5% 16%  4%

Men (=162)

Women (n=491)

 

70%

71%

P=0.67

6%

4%

P=0.32

22%

14%

P=0.03

9%

2%

P=0.0001

Age 18-29 yrs (n=100)

Age 30-44 yrs (n=223)

Age 45+ yrs (n=330)

 

72%

87%

66%

P=0.02

7%

6%

3%

P=0.21

27%

20%

10%

P<0.0001

9%

4%

2%

P<0.004

Table 1. Pattern of Alcohol use among WLS patients at baseline.


Session Number: SS09 – Obesity Surgery
Program Number: S056

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