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Study Summary


About the SCOTS Research Study

Research shows that when a person becomes overweight their general health may be affected and the risk of certain conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes many increase. Conditions such as anxiety and depression may also develop or worsen.

The purpose of the SCOTS study is to find out what the long term effects of weight loss surgery are. Weight loss surgery is a recent procedure carried out in the National Health Service (NHS) and in private hospitals around the world and has helped lots of people lose weight. However, since it is relatively new, the long term effects of the surgery are not known. It is hoped that the finding of the study will help doctors and other health professionals understand more about how weight loss surgery affects peoples’ general health and wellbeing therefore help make improvements to the care they receive in the future.

The SCOTS study is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and will follow up 2000 patients in Scotland having weight loss surgery for 10 years. During this time the short and long term effects of the study will be investigated. These effects might include complications that happen soon after surgery such as a wound infection or more longer term changes in weight e.g. whether it stays under control or not and to find out if a condition called diabetes that affects the amount of sugar in the blood develops or, if already present, improves.

Who Is Conducting The Research?

The research is being carried out by a group of health professionals at the University of Glasgow and certain hospitals in Scotland who care for patients having weight loss surgery.

Patients having weight loss surgery at the participating NHS or private hospitals between 2013 and 2019 will be invited to join the study. After giving their informed consent the SCOTS study will gather information about them for at least 10 years thereafter. Over this ten year period information will be collected via the patient’s own electronic medical records and by completing a questionnaire about their general health at regular intervals.

All patient's personal details are strictly confidential and no information will be available to allow them to be identified.

Patients taking part will receive a summary of the research study results when it becomes available and the findings published in leading health care journals.

Study Objectives

For patients who have had weight loss surgery and for 10 years after their operation:

  1. Identify if there are any deaths and what the cause might be.

  2. Identify if anyone develops cardiovascular disease, cancer and/or diabetes.

  3. Collect information on the number of short and long term complications after weight loss surgery.

  4. Identify if there is there a change in quality of life, anxiety and depression after surgery.

  5. Find out more about how weight loss surgery affects the patients weight and nutritional status (from routine blood tests).

  6. Explore if diabetes is affected by weight loss surgery.