Although long-term studies are necessary, LAGB may be a useful intervention for refractory morbid obesity to decrease early development of comorbidities and cardiovascular adverse events in this young population, the study team concludes in a meeting abstract.

Dr. Ilene Fennoy from Columbia University Medical Center in New York and team conducted a study to analyze anthropometric and metabolic parameters prior to and up to 1 year after gastric banding in 9 male and 15 female morbidly obese 14- to 17-year-olds. At baseline, 13 of the 24 study subjects met criteria for metabolic syndrome.

Rapid improvement in metabolic syndrome parameters occurred during the first 6 months with continued but less dramatic changes to 12 months, the researchers reported.

As expected a statistically significant decrease in body mass index (from 51.3 to 46.2) and waist circumference (from 141 to 131.2 cm) was noted six months after LAGB.

Other parameters of the metabolic syndrome like triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, and blood levels of C-reactive protein were also significantly reduced 6 months following gastric banding (p < 0.05 for all).

In follow-up of 1 year in the 12 patients who were tracked for this long, these improvements continued.

The authors reported that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome dropped from 54.2% to 29.2%. Only 2 patients among the 5 with 12-month follow up who met criteria for metabolic syndrome at baseline still had metabolic syndrome at 1 year.

The procedure laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is presently approved only in morbidly obese adults. The researchers concluded that further evidence is needed to confirm that the procedure effectively improves the metabolic syndrome in teenagers.