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Bariatric Surgery Has Double Benefits for Diabetic Patients

Most lose weight and improve or resolve type 2 diabetes

THURSDAY, Mar. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Most type 2 diabetes patients who undergo bariatric surgery see improvements, not just in weight loss but also in diabetes control, according to a study published in the March issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Henry Buchwald, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 621 studies comprising 888 treatment arms and 135,246 patients, of which 103 treatment arms comprising 3,188 patients reported on type 2 diabetes resolution.

Diabetes was completely resolved in 78.1 percent of diabetic patients, and 86.6 percent experienced resolution or improvement of diabetes, the researchers report. Biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch gave the best results in terms of both weight loss and diabetes resolution, while gastric bypass gave the next most effective results and gastric banding the least, the investigators found. Insulin, fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels all fell significantly after surgery, and results were sustained beyond two years, the report indicates.

"Randomized clinical trials comparing surgery and medical therapies for type 2 diabetes are urgently needed," the authors write. "Considering the potential benefits for millions of people, such trials should assess the risk/benefit ratio of surgery in less obese (body mass index 30-35 kg/m2) populations, as well as in the morbidly obese (body mass index 35 kg/m2 or over) population."

The study was supported by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company.

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