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Cognitive Performance of Morbidly Obese Patients Seeking Bariatric Surgery

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Bariatric surgery is efficacious for the treatment of severe obesity; however, little empirical research exists describing the demographic, psychosocial, and cognitive characteristics of patients presenting for the surgery. One hundred and sixty-nine morbidly obese patients seeking bariatric surgery underwent a presurgical psychological assessment, including cognitive testing. Morbidly obese individuals seeking bariatric surgery were similar in education, income status, and IQ compared with normative data. IQ was average, did not correlate with body mass index, and reflected a normal distribution. As a group, bariatric surgery patients endorsed minimal levels of depression and low levels of psychopathology. Obese individuals did demonstrate specific cognitive deficits on tests of executive function (e.g., problem solving and planning) when compared with normative data. This data suggests that bariatric surgery patients differ very little from other surgical populations on most demographic and psychosocial variables. The data does provide evidence for specific cognitive deficits in the area of executive functions at baseline in morbidly obese adults seeking bariatric surgery.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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