Addictive disorders after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

James E. Mitchell, Kristine Steffen, Scott Engel, Wendy C. King, Jia Yuh Chen, Ken Winters, Stephanie Sogg, Cindy Sondag, Melissa Kalarchian, Katherine Elder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background Recent literature suggests that some patients may develop addictive disorders after bariatric surgery, in particular after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). These may include traditional addictions and so called "behavioral addictions," although prevalence data on the latter have not been published. The objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of addictive behaviors in adults after RYGB. Methods Participants from a large observational study of bariatric surgery who had undergone RYGB were recruited to complete additional measures. Of 241 consented participants, 201 provided data (i.e., Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I [SCID], additional Impulsive Control Disorder Modules, and various self-report measures, including the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test [AUDIT]) to assess status before surgery and in the first 3 postoperative years. Results Based on the SCID, 16 (8.0%) developed alcohol use disorder [AUD] within 3 years post-RYGB, 7 (43.8%) of whom had no history of AUD. When both the SCID and AUDIT were used to identify AUD, the corresponding numbers/percentages were 32 (18.4%) and 13 (40.6%). Data on other behavioral addictive disorders indicated 19 (9.5%) had a postsurgery disorder, 6 (31.6%) of whom had no history. Conclusion These data add to a growing literature suggesting there is a substantial risk for the development of AUD after bariatric surgery. Understanding the risk for nondrug-related addictive disorders requires more data from larger studies before clear conclusions can be drawn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-905
Number of pages9
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
LABS-2 was funded by a cooperative agreement by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) grants U01 DK066557 (data coordinating center); U01-DK66667 and UL1-RR024996 (Columbia-Presbyterian in collaboration with Cornell University Medical Center Clinical and Translational Research Center [CTRC]); U01-DK66568 and M01 RR-00037 (University of Washington in collaboration with Cornell University Medical Center CTRC); U01-DK66471 (Neuropsychiatric Research Institute); U01-DK66526 (East Carolina University); U01-DK66585 and UL1-RR024153 (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in collaboration with Cornell University Medical Center CTRC); and U01-DK66555 (Oregon Health & Science University). This particular part of the LABS-2 study was also funded by a Supplement from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse to U01-DK66471 (Neuropsychiatric Research Institute).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society for Bariatric Surgery. All rights reserved.


  • Addictive use disorders
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Bariatric surgery


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