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Editorial |

Weighing In on Bariatric Surgery Procedure Use, Readmission Rates, and Mortality

Bruce M. Wolfe, MD; John M. Morton, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2005;294(15):1960-1963. doi:10.1001/jama.294.15.1960.
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In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of bariatric surgical procedures performed in the United States and worldwide.14 This increase in bariatric surgery has occurred as a consequence of multiple factors. First, the increased prevalence of obesity among both children and adults in the United States has received much publicity in the medical community, media, government, and the population in general. Despite this attention and multiple calls for action at various levels, the obesity epidemic is progressive.5 Of particular concern is the alarming increasing prevalence of obesity among children,5 suggesting that the epidemic will worsen before it improves. Furthermore, it is estimated that at least 5% of the adult population in the United States experiences severe obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40.5

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