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Patient satisfaction

Surgery and drugs preferred to diets and exercise

Extremely or very satisfied with their weight loss method was 39.3 percent in the Surgery/Rx group

Patients report greater overall satisfaction with bariatric surgery and prescription weight loss medications compared with diet, exercise and other self-modification methods, an Internet survey has reported. The results were presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society: ICE/ENDO 2014 in Chicago.

"This finding may mean that diet and exercise alone just don't work for a lot of people," said Dr Z Jason Wang, the study's principal investigator and director of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Eisai in Woodcliff Lake, NJ. "Drug treatment and bariatric surgical procedures should be considered an integral part of weight management for eligible patients to achieve better treatment satisfaction, which may in turn help patients achieve and maintain better long-term weight loss."

The study, sponsored by Eisai the manufacturer of prescription weight loss medication, lorcaserin (marketed as Belviq), is an analysis of data from more than 39,000 respondents to the 2012 National Health and Wellness Survey.

Wang and his co-worker, Sharoo Gupta from Kantar Health in Princeton, NJ, analysed survey responses from 22,927 obese adults (50 percent women) and 19,121 overweight or obese adults who had at least one weight-related health problem (44 percent women).

They found that 58.4 percent of obese people were not currently taking any steps to lose weight. Wang said this finding suggests "a dire need to better educate the public about the health consequences of obesity and the importance of addressing the problem with their doctors."

Among obese individuals who were trying to lose weight, 2.3 percent reported that they underwent bariatric surgery or they were taking prescription weight loss medication. Together, these people made up the ‘Surgery/Rx’ group.

The remaining 39.3 percent of obese respondents reported using a self-modification method, which included diet, exercise, weight management programs, and over-the-counter weight loss drugs or supplements.

The percentage of obese respondents who reported being extremely or very satisfied with their weight loss method was 39.3 percent in the Surgery/Rx group vs. only 20.2 percent in the group that used self-modification methods (39.3% vs. 20.2%, p<0.001). There was no difference in treatment satisfaction between those using Rx and those whom had a surgical procedure (p>0.05).

Similar results were found in overweight and obese patients (BMI≥27) with ≥1 weight related comorbidity (type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia).

Satisfaction was higher for the Sur/Rx group vs. the self-modification group   with 44.4 percent of the Surgery/Rx group being extremely or very satisfied with their treatment compared with 19.7 percent of participants who used self-modification (p<0.001).

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