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Weight-Loss Surgeries May Beat Standard Treatments for Diabetes
Date:3/27/2012

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- A new international analysis comparing weight-loss procedures to standard diabetes treatments contends that surgery is more effective at helping people combat type 2 diabetes.

The finding stems from two years of tracking 60 severely obese patients with type 2 diabetes who were between the ages of 30 and 60. One-third of the patients were treated with diabetes drugs and diet/lifestyle modifications, while the rest underwent one of two surgical procedures: either Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion surgery.

The end result: all of the surgical patients were ultimately able to stop taking their diabetes medications, while the vast majority entered into full disease remission; neither outcome occurred in the traditional treatment group.

"We have known for many years that bariatric surgery, and specifically certain types of operations like gastric bypass, are very effective in terms of helping to control diabetes," noted study senior author Dr. Francesco Rubino, chief of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery and director of the Metabolic and Diabetes Surgery Center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in New York City.

"But what this new study shows is that even when you compare surgery against standard treatment, surgery performs far better in terms of the improvement that you can get in terms of diabetes," he continued. "Surgery dramatically reduces blood sugar levels, and very often surgical patients can stop taking the medications used for diabetes."

Rubino and his colleagues from Rome's Catholic University report their findings in the March 26 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, to coincide with a planned presentation on the findings at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Chicago. Cleveland Clinic researchers report similar findings in the same journal and plan to presen
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