December 22, 2015
2 min read

Bariatric surgery reduces diabetes, myocardial infarction risks

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The risks for type 2 diabetes and myocardial infarction were reduced with bariatric surgery, according to recent study findings published in PLOS Medicine.

“Obesity is one of the biggest health problems of our generation,” Ian J. Douglas, MSc, PhD, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said in a press release. “Rates of cardiovascular disease, although slowly declining, are still alarmingly high while type 2 diabetes is on the rise, affecting 3.5 million people in Britain. Finding effective ways to tackle the obesity crisis is therefore a key public health strategy.”

Douglas and colleagues evaluated data from the United Kingdom Clinical Practice Research Datalink on 3,882 patients who underwent bariatric surgery on or before Dec. 31, 2014, as well as 3,882 patients with obesity who did not undergo surgery to determine the link between bariatric surgery, weight, BMI and obesity-related comorbidities. The mean age of participants was 45 years, 81% were women and mean follow-up was 3.4 years.

Researchers found protective associations between bariatric surgery and type 2 diabetes onset (HR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.55-0.83), first treatment with an oral antidiabetes drug (HR = 0.26; 95% CI, 0.18-0.37), first treatment with insulin (HR = 0.22; 95% CI, 0.11-0.43), hypertension onset (HR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.27-0.45), angina onset (HR = 0.59; 95% CI, 0.4-0.87), MI (HR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.1-0.74) and obstructive sleep apnea (HR = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.37-0.82). A relationship was also found between bariatric surgery and the resolution of type 2 diabetes (HR = 9.29; 95% CI, 6.84-12.62) and hypertension (HR = 5.64; 95% CI, 2.65-11.99)

“Whilst effective prevention is clearly needed, our findings show that as well as helping patients substantially lose weight, bariatric surgery improves serious obesity-related illnesses as well as reducing the risk of developing them,” Douglas said in the release. “People having weight-loss surgery were 70% less likely to have a heart attack, and those with type 2 diabetes were nine times more likely to see major improvements in their diabetes. We also found positive effects on angina and the debilitating condition obstructive sleep apnea.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosure: Douglas reports having a Medical Research Council Fellowship. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.