Weight loss surgery could protect heart health in people with obesity and diabetes

In a new study, researchers found weight-loss surgery performed in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity is linked to a lower risk of death and heart disease s than usual medical care.

In addition, these patients also lost more weight, had better diabetes control, and used fewer medications for the treatment of their diabetes and heart disease than those undergoing usual medical care.

The research was conducted by a team from Cleveland.

Nearly 40% of Americans have obesity which is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than those without diabetes.

The team looked at nearly 2,300 patients who underwent metabolic surgery and 11,500 matched patients with similar characteristics who received usual medical care.

Patients underwent one of four types of weight-loss surgery (also known as metabolic surgery): gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric banding, or duodenal switch.

The primary endpoint of the study was the occurrence of death or one of five major complications associated with obesity and diabetes: coronary artery events, cerebrovascular events, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and kidney disease.

The team found over an eight-year period, patients undergoing metabolic surgery were 40% less likely to experience one of these events than those receiving usual medical care.

Patients in the surgical group were 41% less likely to die from any cause.

In addition, patients who had metabolic surgery had an average of 15 percent greater weight loss and lower blood sugar levels.

They used fewer diabetes medications, including insulin, and fewer heart medications such as blood pressure and cholesterol therapies compared with the non-surgery group.

The team says he striking results after metabolic surgery may be related to the patients’ substantial and sustained weight loss.

But there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that there are beneficial metabolic and hormonal changes after these surgical procedures that are independent of weight loss.

The lead author of the study is Ali Aminian, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at Cleveland Clinic.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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