The researchers studied 1,035 people, who were thought to be morbidly obese. The study followed these people from 1986 to 2002. All patients underwent weight-loss surgery during this period. The results were compared with 5,700 people who did not undergo such surgery.
They found that who underwent weight loss surgery had less than half the risk of heart disease in future life. In addition, they were also less likely to need surgery to unclog blocked arteries than those who did not have the surgery.
Patients who had weight loss surgery lost 67 percent of their excess body weight. "No other treatment has shown to have this much impact on preventing or reducing heart disease in patients with morbid obesity," said McGill University Health Center Researcher Nicolas V. Christou. In a community study of 160 patients who had the surgery, Mayo Clinic researchers found significant changes in risk factors like blood pressure, diabetes indicators, and cholesterol levels.
Also the 10-year risk for death or an adverse heart event was reduced from 37 percent to 18 percent. "We believed the surgical patients would have a modest reduced risk, but instead we discovered there are significant and long-lasting heart benefits for this group," said John Batsis, MD and lead author of the study.