NEW YORK (March 30, 2011) -- In the longest study of its kind, bariatric surgery has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with diabetes. These results and other groundbreaking research were presented at the 2nd World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes, hosted by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.
"This is a watershed moment for diabetes care. With 20 years of data, we can really see how the surgery can improve a spectrum of health measures -- notably cardiovascular risk," says Dr. Francesco Rubino, director of the Congress and director of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
While Type 2 diabetes is not technically a cardiovascular disease, experts say it might as well be one, given the corrosive effects of unregulated blood sugar on the heart. According to the American Heart Association, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die of some form of heart disease or stroke.
Dr. Lars Sjstrm, professor at the Institute of Medicine in Gteborg, Sweden, presented new data gleaned from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study. He reported on 20 years of data comparing 2,010 bariatric surgeries with 2,037 non-surgical patients who received medical treatment or lifestyle modification for obesity.
"Type 2 diabetes has always been considered a chronic, lifelong disease, but the long-term data show remission in 70 percent of patients after two years of follow-up," he says. "Thirty percent are still in remission 15 years after bariatric surgery. Even more remarkable, 20 years out, we have seen that bariatric surgery has reduced new cases of diabetes by 80 percent among obese patients who did not have the disease at the start of the study."
Dr. Sjstrm concludes that the surgery's preventive effect seems to be even stronger and more long-lasting than its ability to sustain long-term remis
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New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College