Jul 17, 2019 | Updated: 11:17 AM EDT

Weight Loss Surgery Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Nov 04, 2014 04:06 PM EST

Obesity affects the younger generation in the U.S, making them at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in later years
(Photo : Getty Images)

While obesity has been a known risk factor for type-2 Diabetes, with the bigger being more prone to it, recent studies found that those who have undergone weight-loss surgery have a lower risk of developing the disease.

A study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology revealed that an 80 percent reduction in type 2 diabetes was observed among obese people who have undergone one of three surgical procedures: gastric bypass, gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy.

Medical News Today describes gastric bypass, the most common weight loss procedure, as one that involves redirecting the digestive system past the stomach.

Gastric banding involves the use of band to reduce the size of the stomach so a smaller amount of food is required to make someone feel full, and sleeve gastrectomy involves removal of around 80 per cent of the stomach.

The study involved 2,167 obese adults who had weight loss surgeries, better known as bariatric surgery. They were compared to 2,167 obese people who had not undergone any weight loss procedure at all, or any other obesity-related treatments. The participants were researched and investigated for up to 7 years.

Researchers found that 38 participants from the weight loss group developed type 2 diabetes, while a staggering 177 of the control participants developed the same disease during follow-up.

And even when considering other diabetes 2 factors such as smoking, hypertension and high cholesterol, weight loss surgery significantly reduced participants' risk of type 2 diabetes.

Study author Martin Gulliford, a professor of public health at King's College London, England said, "Our results suggest that bariatric surgery may be a highly effective method of preventing the onset of new diabetes in men and women with severe obesity. We need to understand how weight-loss surgery can be used, together with interventions to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating, as part of an overall diabetes prevention strategy."

While the results of the study are groundbreaking, the researchers admitted that the study has some limitations. The team considered the participants from the weight loss group to have been more adherent to diabetes prevention advice such as adopting a healthy diet and exercise than control patients. Although they also said that those who received surgery were more likely to be prescribed antihypertensive drugs or statins-- which can cause diabetes.

Dr. Jacques Himpens, of Saint Pierre University Hospital in Belgium, said that the findings from the study "bring us closer to understanding the effects of bariatric surgery for prevention of type 2 diabetes, but more evidence is needed to convince endocrinologists about the nature of this effect." 

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