Background: Weight loss interventions for obesity, such as bariatric surgery, are associated with reductions in bone mineral density and may increase the risk of fractures. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of bariatric surgery and lifestyle weight management programs (WMPs) with fracture outcomes. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from 1966 to 2018, and our trial registry of WMP randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We included RCTs, non-randomized trials, and observational studies of bariatric surgery, and RCTs of WMPs. Studies had follow-up ≥ 12 months, mean group body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2. The primary outcome measure was incidence of any type of fracture in participants, and the secondary outcome was weight change. We used random effects meta-analysis for trial data. Results: Fifteen studies were included. Three small trials provided short-term evidence of the association between bariatric surgery and participants with any fracture (365 participants; RR 0.82; 95% CI 0.29 to 2.35). Four out of six observational studies of bariatric surgery demonstrated significantly increased fracture risk. Six RCTs of WMPs with 6214 participants, the longest follow-up 11.3 years, showed no clear effect on any type of fracture (RR 1.04; 95% CI 0.91 to 1.18), although authors of the largest RCT reported an increased risk of frailty fracture by their definition (RR 1.40; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.90). Conclusion: Bariatric surgery appears to increase the risk of any fracture; however, longer-term trial data are needed. The effect of lifestyle WMPs on the risk of any fracture is currently unclear.
Ablett, A. D., Boyle, B. R., & Avenell, A. (2019). Fractures in Adults After Weight Loss from Bariatric Surgery and Weight Management Programs for Obesity: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obesity Surgery, 29(4), 1327–1342. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-018-03685-4