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One year after weight loss surgery with laparoscopic gastric banding, extremely obese adults demonstrate not only better physical health, but also improved psychological health, a new study presented at The Endocrine Society's 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, states.

So in addition to helping control Type 2 diabetes, the study offers perspective on how the long-term psychological status of morbidly obese individuals undergoing gastric banding has improved.

Four men and 21 women (ranging in age from 30 to 58 years) participated in the study. Of these 25 patients, 16 had Type 2 diabetes and nine did not. All had a body mass index that classified them as morbidly obese.

Participants completed psychological testing before surgery and six and 12 months after surgery. These tests measured general anxiety and depression, quality of life and social anxiety, that is, anxiety related to what others might think of one's appearance. Compared with before surgery, patients' psychological test scores improved significantly at both six and 12 months after surgery. They had better psychological and physical quality of life, reductions in levels of general anxiety and depression, and reductions in their levels of social anxiety. As shown in other studies, gastric banding significantly reduced BMI and hemoglobin A1c, a measure of blood sugar control over time.

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