Gastric bypass surgery helps in lowering cholesterol and improving the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol, concludes a new study.
The study showed that within just six months of gastric bypass, nearly all patients with high cholesterol had normal blood cholesterol levels and 91 percent of patients who were on statins or other lipid-lowering drugs before surgery no longer needed them.
Even after six years, all patients were off medication. Patients, who before surgery had an average body mass index (BMI) of 50, lost nearly 40 percent of their body mass index or 80 percent of their excess body weight.
Researchers at University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics followed 248 laparoscopic gastric bypass patients for six years.
Ninety-four had hyperlipidemia, an elevation of lipids (fats) including cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream, and 23 were being treated with lipid-lowering medications. Hyperlipidemia is a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
"Patients with morbid obesity experience resolution of hyperlipidemia in a very short period of time following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, further reducing the risk of developing heart disease in this high-risk population," said Mohammad Jamal, lead study author and clinical assistant professor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
"Bariatric surgery seems to give patients the jumpstart they need to maintain enough weight loss over the long term to keep hyperlipidemia at bay," Jamal added.
The study has been presented at the 27th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).