Can a Weight Loss Surgery Reduce Risk of Heart Risks in Diabetics?

Heart risks in Type 2 diabetes patients can be reduced through bariatric surgery, a study suggests

2 min read
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A new study suggests that besides shedding fat, bariatric surgery may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like strokes, by almost half.

The study, reported in The New York Times, however, was an observational study, and not a randomised controlled trial, which is considered the ‘gold standard in medicine’.

Roughly 2,300 bariatric surgery patients were compared with 11,500 closely matched patients who had not undergone surgery.

An editorial, drawing on the findings, suggested that bariatric surgery should be the preferred mode of treatment for Type 2 diabetic patients with obesity.

The author of the accompanying editorial, Dr. Edward H. Livingston, calls the findings ‘a big deal.’

The new information here is the ability of bariatric surgery to control macrovascular events like strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and kidney disease, not just improve weight and diabetes control. That’s a big deal.
Dr. Edward H. Livingston, Author, Association of Metabolic Surgery With Major Adverse Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity Study

However, it must be noted that even the study’s authors, and other doctors and scientists believe that the findings must be confirmed in randomised trials.


The Findings So Far

The investigators found that over a period of eight years,

30.8 % 
Patients who had weight-loss surgery either died or developed one of the conditions


47.7 %
Patients who did not have surgery died or developed one of the conditions

The patients who had had a surgery were also 41 percent less likely to die of any cause during the study period. While ten percent of the patients who had surgery died, 17.8 percent of the patients who did not have surgery passed away during the same time.

The study, NYT reports, was partly funded by Medtronic, a company that makes medical equipment used in weight-loss surgery.

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