ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 12 -- Obesity surgery is a billion-dollar growth market for patients from ages 18 to 54.
Bariatric surgery procedures for patients from the ages of 55 to 64 in the United States increased by 2,000% over a seven-year period, from 772 in 1998 to 15,086 in 2004, according to a report released by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) here.
A smaller but increase in bariatric surgery also occurred among 18- to 54-year-olds over the same period, growing from 12,481 operations in 1998 to 103,097 in 2004, for a net 726% gain. This age group represented the largest segment of the obesity surgery market.
Over the same period, deaths associated with the surgery declined by 78%, from 0.9% in 1998, to 0.2% in 2004, and hospital stays declined by nearly two day in each age group.