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Bariatric surgery shown to help diabetes patients

Wed, 20 Apr 2011

A review of bariatric surgery has found that it can lower the risks of heart attack and strokes in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes . This breakthrough comes as figures show that at least 65 per cent of diabetics die of some type of heart disease or stroke .

Lars Sjöström, from the Institute of Medicine in Gothenborg, Sweden, reviewed new data taken from a large-scale, 20-year study of Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) compared 2,010 bariatric surgeries with 2,037 non-surgical patients who had medical treatment or lifestyle modification for obesity .

Sjöström stated "Type 2 diabetes has always been considered a chronic, lifelong disease, but the long-term data show remission in 70 per cent of patients after two years of follow-up."

He added that while "30 per cent are still in remission 15 years after bariatric surgery. Even more remarkable, 20 years out, we have seen that bariatric surgery has reduced new cases of diabetes by 80 per cent among obese patients who did not have the disease at the start of the study."

Francesco Rubino, director of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, commented "This is a watershed moment for diabetes care. With 20 years of data, we can really see how the surgery can improve a spectrum of health measures — notably cardiovascular risk."
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