People with type 2 diabetes and severe obesity who undergo gastric bypass surgery could achieve longer life and also remission from the condition for up to five years, according to new research.
New research by the Geisinger Health System, USA, revealed obese people who undergo the procedure reduce their risk of dying from obesity and other diseases by 48 per cent up to 10 years after surgery compared to those who don’t. And more than 60 per cent of patients who had type 2 diabetes before surgery experienced diabetes remission approximately five years later.
Researcher Dr Michelle R.Lent said: “The long-term survival benefits these older patients and those with diabetes experience are likely to relate to improvements in long-term metabolic and cardiovascular health, among other risk factors.
“While this study did not evaluate specific-cause mortality, as expected, we did find significant improvements or remission in diabetes and high blood pressure.”
The study involved researchers from the Geisinger Health System following nearly 2,700 people who received a gastric bypass at their bariatric surgery centre between 2004 and 2014.
Mortality rates improved within the first two years after surgery and were at their highest within four years.
Dr Lent added: “While bariatric surgery provides significant health benefits to most patients, it is important to note that in our study some of the strongest mortality risk reductions following gastric bypass were found in older adults.
“Until recently, older age was viewed as a relative contraindication to bariatric surgery, as the benefits were less clear. Our findings help to challenge that myth and instead support offering the surgery to older patients.”
People who are obese or severely obese are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, arthritis, sleep apnea, high blood pressure among other diseases and conditions. Investigations into weight gain have shown individuals with a BMI greater than 30 have a 50 to 100 per cent greater risk of premature death compared to healthy weight individuals.
Raul J. Rosenthal, Managing Director of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and President and Chairman of the Department of General Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Florida, who was not involved in the study said: “Obesity and related diseases kill and the data continues to confirm this fact.
“The good news is the Geisinger study shows we can do something about it. The long-term data on bariatric surgery provides the proof.”

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