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Weight-Loss Surgery Safe, Effective Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
Date:6/24/2009

eturn to normal blood sugar levels within the first year. And about 60 percent were still diabetes-free five to 16 years later, according to the study.

Those most likely to have their diabetes return were those who were insulin dependent at the time of the surgery, meaning their disease was more severe.

About 75 percent of patients able to control their diabetes with diet or oral medications remained diabetes-free, compared to only 30 percent of those who were insulin dependent at the time of the surgery, the study found.

"The big thing we got from this study was the earlier you got these patients for gastric bypass and the earlier they were referred during the course of their diabetes, the better their chance for diabetes control," said senior author Dr. James W. Maher, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor of surgery.

A second study on the impact of bariatric surgery on diabetes looked at gastric banding, another common weight-loss procedure.

Researchers from New York University School of Medicine examined 95 patients who had laparoscopic gastric banding between January 2002 and January 2004. About 88 percent were taking oral diabetes medication and 15 percent were on insulin.

After five years, about 40 percent of patients were in remission and about 43 percent had improved blood sugar levels. The average fasting glucose level decreased from 146 to 118.5 and the average HbA1c (a measurement of glucose levels over time) decreased from about 7.5 percent to around 6.6 percent, the researchers said in a meeting news release.

"Our study contributes to mounting evidence that demonstrates gastric banding can have a sustained and meaningful effect on diabetes and morbid obesity and that the two diseases are interrelated," senior study author Dr. Christine Ren, an associate professor of surgery at New York University School of Medicine, said in the news release.

The patients also lost
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