Lead author and principal Investigator Christina Wee says this is the first study to show that high-risk drinking may actually improve post weight loss surgery.

Wee and his colleagues interviewed patients who participated in the Assessment of Bariatric Surgery or ABS Study, which aims to understand patient preferences and decision making processes about weight loss and weight loss surgery.

In the beginning, the team interviewed 541 clinically obese patients, who underwent weight loss surgery. At the end of one year, they were again interviewed by Wee and his team.

The participants were asked questions assessing frequency of drinking over the past year, quantity of alcohol consumed on an average daily, and binge drinking over the past month to determine which individuals were high-risk drinkers.

About one in six patients reported high-risk drinking before weight loss surgery. One year after surgery, two thirds of gastric bypass patients and nearly half of gastric banding patients reported ceasing high-risk drinking.
And at year two "half of gastric bypass and more than half of gastric banding patients reported this improvement," write the authors.

While this decrease in high-risk drinking is significant, the study also found that seven percent of weight loss surgery patients who did not report high-risk drinking at baseline reported new high-risk drinking at year one and two years post-surgery.

The results have been published in the journal, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.


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