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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011, Article ID 760695, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Vitamin A Deficiency after Gastric Bypass Surgery: An Underreported Postoperative Complication

1Divisions of Cardiology, Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, William Beaumont Hospital, 4949 Coolidge Highway, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA
2Divisions of Nutrition, and Preventive Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, William Beaumont Hospital, 4949 Coolidge Highway, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA

Received 10 June 2010; Accepted 27 August 2010

Academic Editor: Francesco Saverio Papadia

Copyright © 2011 Kerstyn C. Zalesin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Few data are available on vitamin A deficiency in the gastric bypass population. Methods. We performed a retrospective chart review of gastric bypass patients ( , 74% female). The relationship between serum vitamin A concentration and markers of protein metabolism at 6-weeks and 1-year post-operative were assessed. Results. The average weight loss at 6-weeks and 1-year following surgery was  kg and  kg, respectively. At 6 weeks and 1 year after surgery, 35% and 18% of patients were vitamin A deficient, ( 325 mcg/L). Similarly, 34% and 19% had low pre-albumin levels ( 18 mg/dL), at these time intervals. Vitamin A directly correlated with pre-albumin levels at 6 weeks ( , ) and 1-year ( ,   ). There was no correlation between the roux limb length measurement and pre-albumin or vitamin A serum concentrations at these post-operative follow-ups. Vitamin A levels and markers of liver function testing were also unrelated. Conclusion. Vitamin A deficiency is common after bariatric surgery and is associated with a low serum concentration of pre-albumin. This fat-soluble vitamin should be measured in patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery and deficiency should be suspected in those with evidence of protein-calorie malnutrition.