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Study of diabetic patients finds link between obesity surgery and a reduction in the risk of serious heart problems

Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2018 by Tyler Goldberg-Hoss

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, while another 80 million have pre-diabetes. Nearly 1/3 of Americans are classified as obese.

For years, people suffering from obesity have turned to surgery to help when diet and other lifestyle modifications do not work. This includes many stomach-shrinking surgeries, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric band procedures.

A recent study, including patients within the Kaiser Pemanente network in Washington State, tracked 20,000 severely obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. In the study, some had obesity surgery and some did not.

The study found that those patients who had the surgery had a 40% lower chance of having a heart attack or stroke within five years versus those who did not have such surgery.

Although the study pointed out it could not prove a causal link between the surgery and the lower risk, it is intuitive that losing weight would also reduce the risk of serious heart problems. Not only that, but researcher also think there may be a connection between how surgeries affect how the body handles insulin and blood sugar.

Although thousands of dollars, obesity surgery is increasingly being covered by insurance. And one of the study’s authors suggested doctors should be discussing surgery as a possibility with their obese diabetic patients.

You can read more about this study here:

Bariatric surgery reduces heart attacks, strokes and death in obese people with diabetes

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