Weight-loss surgery reduces risk of type 2 diabetes


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Weight-loss surgery, such as gastric banding or gastric bypass, could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 80% in obese people compared to standard care, British research suggests.

More than 80% of adults with type 2 diabetes are classified as obese, which means controlling obesity is a way of limiting the incidence of the disease. Martin Gulliford, Professor of Public Health at King's College, London, and his colleagues assessed the effect of weight loss surgery on the development of diabetes.

They identified 2167 obese adults who had weight-loss surgery from 2002 onwards (laparoscopic adjustable banding, sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric bypass). These patients were then compared to 2167 people matched for age, sex, body mass index and blood glucose control who did not have surgery or other obesity treatments.

The participants were followed for a maximum of seven years, during which time 38 of those who had surgery developed type 2 diabetes, while 177 of those who did not have a procedure developed the illness. Gulliford said: "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."

But endocrinologist Jacques Himpens from Saint Pierre University Hospital in Brussels was more cautious: "Many questions still remain unanswered, and more evidence is needed to convince endocrinologist about the nature of this effect," he said.

The British finding was published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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