Air pollution at levels common in developed countries appear to be associated with reduced weight loss and a negative effect on lipid profiles and HbAc1 following bariatric surgery

In May 2018 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess whether the effect of air pollution would be magnified following bariatric surgery.  Current evidence suggests that air pollution may contribute to the development of obesity and diabetes and the researchers wished to assess whether pollution would reduce the effect of the bariatric surgery.  75 obese individuals were included in the study, with the following investigations being undertaken before and after bariatric surgery:  HDL (good) cholesterol, triglycerides, alkaline phosphatase and HbA1c (average blood glucose levels). The distance from the individual’s home to major roads was calculated and exposure to particulate matter 2.5 μm, nitrogen dioxide and ozone estimated.  The association between pollution and weight loss achieved was then analysed two years post-surgery. Results showed that living near a major road was associated with a reduced amount of weight lost and a reduced improvement in lipid profile and alkaline phosphatase. In addition, nitrogen dioxide exposure was associated with a reduced improvement in HbA1c, HDL levels and change in triglycerides, with particulate matter being associated with a reduced amount of weight lost and a reduced improvement in HDL levels, triglycerides and alkaline phosphatase.

Ghosh R et al. Air pollution, weight loss and metabolic benefits of bariatric surgery: a potential model for study of metabolic effects of environmental exposures. Pediatr Obes. 2018 May;13(5):312-320

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