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AAO: Younger Age Predicts Weight Gain After Tonsil Removal

Last Updated: September 13, 2012.

Younger age is a significant predictor of weight gain following adenotonsillectomy for treatment of either obstructive sleep apnea or recurrent tonsillitis, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, held from Sept. 9 to 12 in Washington, D.C.

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Younger age is a significant predictor of weight gain following adenotonsillectomy (TA) for treatment of either obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or recurrent tonsillitis (RT), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, held from Sept. 9 to 12 in Washington, D.C.

Stacey Ishman, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of 115 children undergoing TA at an urban tertiary-academic center (85 for OSA). Data gathered included demographic information, OSA disease severity, and pre- and three- to six-month postoperative normalized body mass index (BMI; z-scores).

The researchers found no significant differences between OSA and RT patients in mean age (7.2 ± 4.3 and 7.3 ± 4.4 years, respectively) or gender (38 and 50 percent female, respectively), but OSA patients were more likely than RT patients to be black (60 versus 33 percent). Preoperative BMI z-score increased significantly from 0.98 ± 1.50 to 1.21 ± 1.25 in patients with both surgical indications. Age had a significant, negative correlation with changes in BMI z-scores.

"Parents with overweight adolescent children need not fear tonsillectomy, and those with younger, normal-weight and overweight children just really need to closely watch their child's diet following surgery, and make caloric adjustments," Ishman said in a statement.

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