A recent study based on a large cohort of obese patients recently unveiled weight-loss surgery’s surprise effects on diabetes, hypertension. The research shows that after a three-and-a-half-year-long follow-up period these conditions considerably improved in patients that underwent surgery.
The study, which was published by a team of British scientists in PLOS Medicine, involved 3,882 morbidly obese patients. In the U.K., 1.4 million people struggle with morbid obesity. So, researchers believe that in their case the procedure could greatly improve or lower their risk of obesity-related type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure in the next four years.
In weight loss surgery, which is known under the name of bariatric surgery, doctors either surgically reduce the size of the patient’s stomach or they place a gastric bypass to achieve gradual weight loss by preventing excess food from being absorbed by stomach.
In the U.S., the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommend patients that have a BMI above 40 or a BMI above 35 plus an obesity-related condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, to undergo surgery.
People with a BMI between 30 and 34 may also qualify for the procedure if they have a severe weight-related medical condition. Any patient that has a body mass index (BMI) that is higher than 30 are considered obese.
Ian Douglas, MD, lead author of the study and researcher with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, argued that obesity is one of the greatest challenges our generation has to put up with.
Although heart disease rates have improved in recent years, obesity-related type 2 diabetes reached epidemic proportions, so tackling obesity is currently a crucial public health strategy, Douglas added.
The research team underscored that the medical procedure does not only improve weight-related health problems but it also lowers the risk of later developing them.
The research shows that bariatric surgery patients had a 70 percent lower risk of having a heart attack than people who did not access the procedure. Moreover, obese diabetes patients had a ninefold chance to see their condition improve after surgery, the findings also showed.
Weight-loss surgery had also positive outcomes in other weight-related conditions, such as angina and sleep apnea. The study also found that placing a gastric band in a patient’s stomach, a procedure known as gastric bypass, was more effective than reducing the size of the patient’s stomach.
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