Weight Loss Surgery on Obese Patients with Diabetes Reduces Risk of Death

Recent research has found that weight loss surgery can have more benefits than some realized when it comes to obesity patients who have type 2 diabetes.  It’s not just a matter of slimming down and improving overall health.  In fact, it’s not even just a matter of reducing diabetes risks in general.

The study determined that patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes and who go through weight loss surgery have a 40 percent reduction in their risk of premature death.  This, when compared to the risks of premature death among obesity patients with type 2 diabetes and who obtain standard medical care without the procedure.

The Weight Loss Surgery Study Findings

The researchers who examined the impact of weight loss surgery beyond waist size were from the Cleveland Clinic.  They did a comparison of the different types of bariatric surgery with the types of typical medical care people with type 2 diabetes would receive when treated from 1998 through 2017.  The research tracked the health of nearly 2,300 patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes after having undergone one of four different types of bariatric surgery.

They took a specific look at six key factors, which included death from any cause, heart disease, heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), and kidney problems.   According to Cleveland Clinic bariatric surgeon Dr. Ali Aminian, the study’s lead author, when they conducted an examination on each of those individual factors, they saw that all – including the general death rate – improved.

“As a cardiologist, these findings tell me that if we can find a way to get people to lose weight, we can save a lot of lives,” said Dr. Nissen.

Why This Study Matters

These weight loss surgery study findings are significant not only for the information they revealed, but also in how they can help shape the treatments patients with diabetes and obesity will receive.  According to Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic chief academic officer Dr. Steven Nissen, senior author of the study, the findings of this research were “striking”.

“As a cardiologist, these findings tell me that if we can find a way to get people to lose weight, we can save a lot of lives,” said Dr. Nissen.

Dr. Aminian also pointed out that many medical care providers, including primary care doctors, cardiologists and endocrinologists can view weight loss surgery as a kind of tool.  He explained that it provides these medical experts with an option other than medication.  Instead, these doctors and specialists can discuss the potential for bariatric surgery as an appropriate treatment option to improve weight but also many vital risk factors.

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