Since Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey shut down his internal food lane with bariatric lap-band surgery, his actual weight loss (85 pounds and counting) has been substantial. And while other lane closings may have made his political life somewhat bumpier, it looks like closing off part of his stomach could lengthen his life and make it less likely that he'll face health bumps down the road.
A new long-term retrospective study of men 52 to 53 (the governor is 52) who were extremely obese, with BMIs of 46 to 47 (at 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 350 pounds, Christie had a BMI of 49), found that bariatric surgery almost doubles long-term survival rates.
The researchers compared 2,500 men who had bariatric surgery (74 percent had gastric bypass, 15 percent sleeve gastrectomy, 10 percent adjustable gastric banding) with 7,462 similar guys who didn't get the procedures. Five years after bariatric surgery, 52-year-olds who started out with BMI of 47 had a mortality rate of 6.4 percent; after 10 years it was 13.8 percent. Those without the surgery had a mortality rate of 10.4 percent (at five years) and 23.9 percent (at 10 years). That's not a slim difference!
So if you have a BMI over 40, ask your doc if you qualify for weight-loss surgery. If you have other conditions such as diabetes, you may be a candidate if your BMI is 35. Sometimes - even for a politician like Gov. Christie - closing down a lane in your digestive tract can be the best thing for both your actual and political life.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.