2008 Grant Award - Moira Petit, Ph.D.

Bone and Cardiovascular Health in Obese Adolescents Following Bariatric Surgery

Moira Petit, Ph.D.
Division of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota

Bariatric surgery has become a popular treatment for weight loss in morbidly obese adolescents, with a five-fold increase in the number of bariatric surgeries conducted in the United States between 1997 and 2003 in adolescents. Despite the substantial increase in these surgeries, little is known about the effects of bariatric surgery on skeletal and cardiovascular health parameters in youth. Given that adolescence is a critical time for development of a strong skeleton and a healthy vasculature, determining the physiological benefits and risks of this procedure during this critical period of growth is of paramount importance. With the expertise in adolescent bariatric surgery, obesity, and pediatric bone health, and cardiovascular health at UMN, we have a unique opportunity to design and conduct longitudinal studies in this growing population. The purpose of this pilot study is to examine the effects of bariatric surgery on indices of bone health and cardiovascular function in morbidly obese adolescents. We hypothesize that bariatric surgery in morbidly obese adolescents will result in: 1) loss of bone mass and strength at 3 and 6 months post-surgery; and 2) improvements in indices of cardiovascular function, including endothelial function and arterial stiffness, at these time points. Ten morbidly obese adolescents (ages 12 to 17) undergoing bariatric surgery and 10 age, sex, and BMI-matched controls will be recruited for the study. Measures of bone and cardiovascular health will be taken at baseline (prior to surgery) and at 3 and 6 months post surgery. Data from this study will be used to frame objectives for an NIH R01 grant that will prospectively follow a larger cohort. This multidisciplinary pilot study will also establish our research team with collaborators from kinesiology, pediatrics, bariatric surgery, epidemiology, and family practice.