Weight-loss Surgery May Help Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Odds

A recent study has shown that in addition to losing weight patients who undergo weight loss surgery also decrease their chances of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

A recent study has shown that in addition to losing weight patients who undergo weight loss surgery also decrease their chances of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, showed weight-loss surgery reduced patients’ diabetes risk by close to 80% compared with people who received more traditional standard care.

A statement accompanying the publication of the study results noted that the same percentage of people with type 2 diabetes can be classified as overweight or obese, and that in England alone 26% of all adults were classified as obese in 2010. Patients are eligible for that designation if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or more.

The study included records from the UK Clinical Research DataLink. Leading the research was Martin Gulliford, professor of public health at King’s College, who worked with a team to look at the effect of the surgery on the number of patients diagnosed with diabetes.

Final results included a patient pool of 2167 people with diabetes who either underwent laparoscopic adjustable banding, sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric bypass since 2002. They were compared to 2167 patients prior to that time based on age, sex, BMI, and blood glucose control who had not undergone surgery over a period of time up to seven years.

In the surgery group, there were just 38 new cases of diabetes while the non-surgical group had 177 new cases over the same length of time.

According to Gulliford, “Our results suggest that bariatric surgery may be a highly effective method of preventing the onset of new diabetes in men and women with severe obesity.” He added, “We need to understand how weight loss surgery can be used, together with interventions to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating, as part of an overall diabetes prevention strategy.”

In a linked comment, Jacques Himpens, MD, from Saint Pierre University Hospital in Brussels, said, “Although the results… bring us a step closer to confirming the effect of bariatric surgery on the incidence of de-novo type 2 diabetes, many questions still remain unanswered and more evidence is needed to convince endocrinologists about the nature of this effect.”

The study was funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research.