Medical School Study Finds Bariatric Surgery Safe for Older, Medicare Patients


A study led by Peter T. Hallowell and colleagues at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, shows complications after bariatric surgery appear similar between patients younger and older than age 60 and also between Medicare recipients and non-recipients.

The study, published in the June issue of the Archives of Surgery, reviewed the cases of 892 patients who had gastric bypass surgery from 1998 to 2006. The patients were divided into four groups. Group one, 46 patients age 60 to 66 years, was compared with group two, 846 patients age 18 to 59 years. Group three, 31 Medicare recipients (age 31 to 66), was compared with group four, 861 non-Medicare recipients (age 18 to 64). The age, sex and body mass index of each patient were documented as well as time spent in the operating room, length of stay, other illnesses and complications (including death).

According to the study, the older group spent an average of 17 minutes less in the operating room than the younger group. There was no statistically significant difference found between the two groups for any postoperative complication or death. "No mortality was seen in the older group (group one) at 30 days, 90 days or one year. Three deaths occurred within 30 days in the younger group (group two) with one additional death within one year," the authors note.

When comparing Medicare and non-Medicare patients, group three (Medicare patients) spent an average of 14 minutes longer in the operating room. Medicare patients also spent an average of a day-and-a-half longer in the hospital. There was no significant difference between the two groups for any complication or death after surgery. No Medicare patients died at 30 days, 90 days or one year. Three non-Medicare patients died within 30 days and one additional patient died within one year. Read more.

Campus News

Join colleagues and friends each Wednesday on the east Crawford Hall patio from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for Campus Summer Barbecues. This week: a Jamaican menu featuring grilled jerk pork chops, boca burgers, tropical side dishes, dessert, and a beverage. Price is $7.50 cash or CaseCash. Rain site: Tomlinson Cafeteria. Music by steel drum band 7 Mile Isle. Health information, sample smoothies and chair massages provided by 1-2-1 Fitness Center.

The Perception Lab, housed in the university's psychology department, is currently seeking "Vision Study" participants. Participants must be healthy adults age 18 and older with no major vision problems. The study is non-invasive and primarily requires looking at images on a computer screen. Participants will be compensated for their time and expenses. Evening and weekend appointments are available. For more information, call the Perception Lab at 368-6465.

For Faculty & Staff

Traveline Travel Services, Case's preferred travel vendor has rolled out "Travelport," an online booking tool that may be used for Internet travel reservations using the Business Travel Account, a central university credit card to which travel may be charged. Web training will be offered to interested travelers and travel arrangers. The next session is from 10:30 a.m. to noon on June 21. Read more to sign up and for additional information.

For Students

This section will be updated occasionally during the summer. Refer to the "Campus News" section for general information.


The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women is hosting a book discussion on Professor of English Thrity Umrigar's novel The Space Between Us from noon to 1 p.m. on June 20 at the SAGES Café. Participants are asked to read the first 112 pages. RSVP via e-mail to Katie Hanna.

"Genetic Research in Human Subjects," presented by the Office of Research Compliance and the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law, takes place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on June 20 at the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium, Room 1413. Experts will discuss ethical issues in the design and conduct of human genetic research. Participants are welcome to bring a lunch. Read more for details and to RSVP.

Refer to the Web event calendar for a list of events and activities on campus and in the community today and in the days ahead.

June 19, 2007

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Case in the News

Home-growing high tech

The Plain Dealer, June 19, 2007 (editorial)
Editorial lauds the efforts of a local biotechnology company to stay in the community and the benefits of its scientists partnering with Case Western Reserve University and other medical and research institutions.

Research foundations offer critical initial funds

Crain's Cleveland Business, June 19, 2007 (subscription required)
Joseph Jankowski, assistant vice president for biomedical science in Case Western Reserve University's technology transfer office, comments about the challenges of obtaining startup funding.

Mexican immigrants deliver good news: nice, healthy babies

The Plain Dealer, June 18, 2007
Kate Masley will receive her doctorate in medical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in August. Her dissertation topic is titled "Living the Latina Paradox: An Ethnography of Pregnant and Postpartum Mexicans in Northeast Ohio." In this interview, she discusses her findings about Mexican immigrant women giving birth to healthy infants despite tough odds.

Grass is greener for Scotts

Akron Beacon, June 17, 2007
Ted Steinberg, a Case Western Reserve University professor and environmental historian who wrote American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, comments about the marketing strategies of Scotts Miracle Gro-Co., a major producer of lawn care products.

Higher Ed News

Questioning the admissions assumptions

Inside Higher Ed, June 19, 2007
A major study released Monday by the University of California suggests that high school grades may be good at predicting not only first-year college performance, as commonly believed, but performance throughout four undergraduate years.

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