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Study Finds Patients Breathe Easier After Weight-Loss Surgery

And they took 50 percent fewer prescription drugs for breathing problems

WEDNESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who've lost weight after bariatric surgery breathe easier and take 50 percent fewer prescription breathing medications, a new study finds.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of 320 patients for one year before and after they had bariatric surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The patients filled a total of 324 prescriptions for breathing medications in the year before surgery, and 154 prescriptions in the year after surgery.

"Not only do patients breathe easier, less money is spent on prescription health-care costs," study author Dr. Naveen Sikka said in a news release. "Better quality of life, possible reduction of chronic breathing problems, including asthma, and lower health-care costs significantly benefit patients and help to reduce the national health-care crisis."

"Some obese patients develop asthma, while others are treated for breathing problems with medications typically used for asthma. The results of this study bring us closer to determining if weight loss can improve asthma long-term," Dr. Andrew Weinstein, vice chair of the Asthma and Respiratory Disease Committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, said in the news release.

The study appears in the April issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about bariatric surgery.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, news release, April 2010

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