Greater Weight Loss for Obese Patients That Get Bariatric Surgery Before Diabetes Develops

Obesity Bariatric Surgery Diabetes

Bariatric surgery before diabetes may result in greater weight loss and potentially prevent its development.

Obese patients may lose more weight if they undergo bariatric surgery before they develop diabetes, suggests a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting. The research will be published in a special supplemental issue of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Both obesity and diabetes are common, serious, and costly in the United States. More than one-third of U.S. adults are affected by these two conditions. Among patients who have obesity and diabetes, bariatric surgery can lead to remission of both of these diseases. “However, which population could have the most benefit from the surgery, and the possible impact of diabetes on the success of their weight-loss surgery is still unknown,” said lead researcher Elif A. Oral, M.D., of the University of Michigan.

“Our study suggests that having bariatric surgery before developing diabetes may result in greater weight loss from the surgery, and together with data that is available from other studies, bariatric surgery may potentially prevent or delay diabetes from developing,” Oral said.

The researchers analyzed data from 714 patients in the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Cohort (MI-BASiC) to see whether diabetes before surgery could have any impact on weight loss outcomes five years or more after receiving bariatric surgery. The patients underwent either gastric bypass (380 patients) or sleeve gastrectomy (334 patients), which are the two most commonly used surgery types in the United States.

All of the patients either had a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40, or a BMI of 35-39.9 with diabetes. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

The study found patients without diabetes had a 1.6 times higher chance than those who already have diabetes of achieving successful weight loss (achieving excess body weight loss of at least 50% or more) regardless of the surgery type. They also found the presence of diabetes before surgery diminished weight loss by 1.2 BMI points, which is roughly 10-15% of the total BMI points patients lost on average.

Even after adjusting the effect of time, surgery type, age, gender, and pre-surgery weight, the absolute weight loss, percentage of total weight loss, and percentage of excess weight loss among individuals with diabetes were still significantly lower than individuals without diabetes.

“Further research is needed to understand why diabetes diminishes the weight loss effect of bariatric surgery,” Oral said.

The Endocrine Society canceled its annual meeting, ENDO 2020, amid concerns about COVID-19.

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries.

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