Bariatric surgery ‘linked to diabetes remission’

11 June 2014

Providing long-term follow-up care for patients who have undergone weight-loss surgery and have type 2 diabetes could see the diabetes go into remission, according to new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Obesity and diabetes are global issues that are major health and economic burdens. It is estimated that 347 million adults across the world have diabetes and half are currently undiagnosed. 

Dr Lars Sjostrom, lead author, and his research team performed an analysis of 343 bariatric surgery patients and 260 controls. The presence of diabetes had been confirmed before the study began and any complications had been obtained from the national health registers.

The follow-up time was around 17.6 years for the control group and 18.1 years for those who had undergone weight loss-surgery.

According to the findings, 73 per cent of the controls and 16.4 per cent of the bariatric surgery patients were in remission from diabetes after two years. After 15 years the remission rates were 6.5 per cent and 30.4 per cent respectively. 

In addition, bariatric surgery was linked to a lower incidence of microvascular and macrovascular complications.

Dr Sjostrom concluded: "In this very long-term follow-up observational study of obese patients with type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery was associated with more frequent diabetes remission and fewer complications than usual care."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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