Weight loss surgery doesn't increase the risk for bone fractures in the first two years after surgery, though the risk increases in the third year. In other news, keep taking your calcium.
The results showed an overall fracture risk of 8.8 per 1,000 person-years in the bariatric-surgery group and 8.2 per 1,000 person-years in the control group, which translated into an adjusted relative risk of 0.89, according to an article published online in BMJ.
In fact, the risk trended lower for patient who had weight-loss surgery, ranging from 10% to 33% lower, depending on the fracture outcome analyzed.
However, the fracture rate in bariatric patients started to increase when they were 3 to 5 years removed from surgery, leaving the long-term effects on bone health open to speculation.
"Bariatric surgery is becoming more common and has been associated with a reduction in bone density after the operation," study author Cyrus Cooper, MBBS, DM, of the University of Southampton in the U.K., said in a statement.
"This is the first time that we have been able to investigate risk of fracture following bariatric surgery by comparing patients with nonsurgical controls. The results suggest that, at least in the short term, such changes in bone density are unlikely to lead to increased fracture risk," he added.