Heart Attacks, Stroke: Bariatric Surgery Cuts Risk
Once again, researchers produce evidence that bariatric surgery has major health benefits for people who have diabetes and severe obesity.
According to a new study published in JAMA, people with diabetes and severe obesity who had bariatric surgery were 40 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke within 5 years than those who had usual medical care for their diabetes.
Another benefit: the bariatric surgery patients were more than one-third less likely to develop heart disease. And two-thirds less likely to die from any cause.
It’s important news given how many people in America struggle with diabetes. Roughly 30 people – more than 9 percent of adult Americans – have type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Additionally, one in three people with type 2 diabetes have a body mass index of least 35 kg/m2, which makes them eligible for bariatric surgery.
“For most people with diabetes and severe obesity, lifestyle changes and medication may not be successful at significantly lowering those risks,” said internist and corresponding author David Arterburn, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. “So we’re excited about our results, which suggest that bariatric surgery may reduce new cases of heart attack and stroke — and risk of death from all causes.”
Weight-loss surgery benefits extend beyond preventing heart attacks, stroke.
People who are thinking about weight-loss surgery should consider all the potential health benefits and risks. It’s important to make a decision based on solid research and medical facts. No matter what kind of bariatric surgery you have, it requires a lifelong commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise.
Studies on bariatric surgery repeatedly show how major weight loss plays a role in managing type 2 diabetes. The same researchers who published this latest study also showed that diabetes goes into long-term remission for about half of people who have gastric bypass surgery. Last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, these researchers also reported that people with diabetes who undergo bariatric surgery have half the risk of small-blood-vessel diseases of the feet, hands, kidneys and eyes within the first 5 years after surgery, compared to usual medical care for diabetes.
Anyone interested in learning about bariatric surgery can attend an educational seminar at Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center.
Source: Kaiser Permanente news release