Scientific publications

Cardiometabolic Profile Related to Body Adiposity Identifies Patients Eligible for Bariatric Surgery More Accurately than BMI

Gómez-Ambrosi J (1), Moncada R, Valentí V, Silva C, Ramírez B, Catalán V, Rodríguez A, Andrada P, Escalada J, Pastor C, Cienfuegos JA, Gil MJ, Salvador J, Frühbeck G.
(1) Metabolic Research Laboratory, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, 31008, Pamplona, Spain. 

Magazine: Obesity Surgery

Date: Sep 1, 2015

Endocrinology and Nutrition [SP] General and Digestive Surgery Obesity Unit Biochemistry [SP] Anesthesia and Intensive Care [SP]


Eligibility criteria for bariatric surgery (BS) are based on BMI and the presence of major comorbidities. Our aim was to analyze the usefulness of body adiposity determination in establishing the indication for BS.


In order to analyze the cardiometabolic risk according to eligibility criteria for BS, four groups were studied. Morbidly obese patients with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m(2) (n = 360), and obese subjects with BMI ≥ 35 kg/m(2) and at least one comorbidity (n = 431), represented two groups of patients meeting original NIH criteria for BS.

A third group included two cohorts of patients with a high body fat (BF)% that do not meet the original NIH eligibility criteria for BS: patients with either a BMI <35 kg/m(2) or a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m(2) without comorbidities (n = 266, NEHF). Lean subjects by BMI were the reference group (n = 140). BMI, BF% and markers of insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and cardiovascular risk were measured.


Individuals from the NEHF group exhibited increased HbA1c (P < 0.05) and decreased insulin sensitivity evidenced by a significant reduction in QUICKI (P < 0.001). Triglyceride concentrations were similarly increased (P < 0.05) in the three groups of obese patients. Uric acid concentrations were significantly elevated (P < 0.01) to a similar extent in the obese groups.

Levels of the inflammatory marker CRP and hepatic enzymes were significantly increased in the three obese groups.


The present study provides evidence for the existence of an adverse cardiometabolic profile in subjects currently considered to be outside traditional NIH guidelines but exhibiting a highly increased adiposity.

It is concluded that body composition analysis yields valuable information to be incorporated into indication criteria for BS and that adiposity may be an independent indicator for BS.

CITATION  Obes Surg. 2015 Sep;25(9):1594-603. doi: 10.1007/s11695-014-1566-6.



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