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Bariatric surgery leads to heart improvements - conference

Friday December 6th, 2019

Obese individuals undergoing bariatric surgery could also reverse subclinical heart dysfunction, a conference has heard.

A study being presented at EuroEcho 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology, revealed a number of benefits to the surgery.

Study author, Dr Marie-Eve Piché of the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute in Canada said: “Bariatric surgery was conceived for weight loss; our study indicates it may also reverse subclinical heart dysfunction. Since this abnormality predicts adverse cardiovascular events and mortality, its reversal could translate into improved prognosis.”

The study examined the effects of bariatric surgery on subclinical heart disease, as well as the impact on diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia, on 38 obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery.

These were compared with 19 patients, matched for age and sex, who were on the surgical waiting list.

Researchers took a range of measurements, including echocardiography, body weight, blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood glucose, before surgery and six months later.

They found that those who had undergone surgery had lost 26% of their total body weight, while those on the waiting list stayed the same.

Rates of comorbidities at six months were also significantly lower in the surgery group compared to the waiting list group: 30% had hypertension, compared with 61% in the control group, while 5% of patients had dyslipidaemia compared to 42% in the control group. When it came to type 2 diabetes, 13% of patients who underwent surgery tested positive, compared to 40% in the control.

Twenty-two patients (58%) in the surgery group had subclinical heart disease at the start of the study and in the six months following surgery, 82% of them had normalised function. This compared to 53% of people on the waiting list whose subclinical heart worsened.

Dr Piché said: “Interestingly, remission of type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery was associated with improvement in subclinical heart function. Conversely, obese individuals with type 2 diabetes who remained on the surgical waiting list showed a worsening in their subclinical myocardial function during follow-up.

“Bariatric surgery is an effective approach for weight loss. Our study suggests it has additional benefits on subclinical heart function, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia. Longitudinal studies are needed to show if these changes reduce cardiovascular disease.”

Tags: Diet & Food | Europe | Heart Health | North America

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