Bariatric surgery delivered in routine clinical practice in the UK is associated with a substantial initial weight loss that is sustained for at least four years after surgery, according to the study.
‘People having weight loss surgery were 70% less likely to have a heart attack, and those with Type 2 diabetes were nine times more likely to see major improvements in their diabetes.’
The longitudinal study also shows that bariatric surgery is associated with improvements in pre-existing type 2 diabetes and hypertension and with a reduced risk of the onset of several obesity-related co-morbidities.
The researchers came to their results by analyzing data from the United Kingdom Clinical Practice Research Datalink, a government database containing anonymized information from roughly 8 percent of the UK population. With the data, they compared 3,882 bariatric surgery patients to 3,882 obese patients who didn't have the surgery.
These results suggest that widening the availability of bariatric surgery in the UK could provide substantial health benefits for people who are very obese. The study is published in the Journal PLOS Medicine
The authors estimate that, assuming these associations are causal, broader use of bariatric surgery in the UK over four years could prevent or resolve roughly 93,000 cases of hypertension and 149,000 cases of type 2 diabetes.