Surgical Tribune Europe

Bariatric surgery reduces risk of diabetes

By Surgical Tribune
September 19, 2012

GOTHENBURG, Sweden: Bariatric surgery reduces the long-term risk of developing type 2 diabetes by over 80 per cent among obese people, the latest research has found. According to Prof. Lars Sjöström, Prof. Lena Carlsson and their team at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, bariatric surgery is considerably more effective than traditional care and lifestyle changes.

In the study conducted by the researchers, the treatment group consisted of 1,658 subjects who had undergone bariatric surgery, while the control group consisted of 1,771 equally obese people who had received traditional care. Participants were 37 to 60 years of age, and the body mass index was 34 or more in men and 38 or more in women.

At the 15-year follow-up, 392 people in the control group and only 110 people in the treatment group had developed diabetes. These results correspond to incidence rates of 28.4 cases per 1,000 person-years and 6.8 cases per 1,000 person-years, respectively.

“Our results show that bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by more than 80 per cent,” Sjöström stated. “This is an extremely high figure.”

The study is based on Swedish Obese Subjects, an extensive study that has given rise to more than 90 scientific articles and demonstrated that bariatric surgery is also highly beneficial when it comes to cancer, cardiovascular disease, total mortality and health-related quality of life.

“Both women and men benefited in terms of diabetes,” Sjöström said, “but the degree of obesity at baseline did not affect the results.”

The study “Bariatric surgery and prevention of type 2 diabetes in Swedish obese subjects” was published online in August in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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