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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 412174, 5 pages
Research Article

Presurgical Weight Is Associated with Pain, Functional Impairment, and Anxiety among Gastric Bypass Surgery Patients

Medical University of South Carolina, 67 President Street, IOP 1-South, Suite 104, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

Received 10 July 2012; Revised 29 August 2012; Accepted 13 September 2012

Academic Editor: Jarred Younger

Copyright © 2012 Sharlene Wedin 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.


Chronic pain and obesity are significant public health concerns in the United States associated with significant levels of health-care expenses and lost productivity. Previous research suggests that obesity is a risk factor for chronic pain, mainly due to excessive weight placed on the joints. However, the obesity-pain relationship appears to be complex and reciprocal. Little work to date has focused on the relationship between weight and pain among patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. Patients scheduled to undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss at a large southeastern academic medical center ( ) completed the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), the Center for Epidemiological Studies 10-item Depression scale (CESD-10), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Higher presurgical weight was associated with higher pain-on-average ratings, higher functional impairment due to pain across the domains of physical activity, mood, walking ability, relationships, and enjoyment of life. Higher presurgical weight was associated with higher BAI scores, but weight was not related to depression. Findings suggest that bariatric surgery candidates report a moderate amount of pain prior to surgery and that presurgical weight is associated with higher pain, increased functional impairment due to pain, and increased anxiety. Anxiety was found to mediate the relationship between increased weight and pain.