DHAKA: For people who are extremely overweight and likely to develop diabetes, surgery may be the best form of prevention.
A new study shows that weight-loss surgery not only produced sustained weight loss in obese men and women but substantially reduced their odds of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Over the course of a roughly 15-year period, those who had one of three types of bariatric procedures were 80 percent less likely to develop the disease than people who tried losing weight with diet and exercise advice from their doctors.
In fact, those who had the worst blood sugar levels at the start of the study, putting them in a high-risk category called prediabetes, benefited the most from surgery. Their risk of becoming diabetic fell by nearly 90 percent.
“The message is that bariatric surgery works,” said Dr. Claude Bouchard, an author of the study and a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana.
“You can take people on their way to becoming diabetic, and you intervene with bariatric surgery and weight loss, and you have a very, very strong protective effect against Type 2 diabetes.”
The findings add to a growing body of literature supporting bariatric surgery as a means for combating diabetes. This year, two studies showed that for people who are obese and already have diabetes, weight-loss surgery was more effective than drugs, diet and exercise in causing a remission of the disease.
The new report, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, is the first large study to show a long-term preventive effect of surgery in people who are not yet diabetic but well on their way.
Experts who were not involved in the research said it could have tremendous public health implications. Nationwide, more than 20 million Americans have diabetes, most of them Type 2, the form linked to obesity.
But almost three times that number is prediabetic, with blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not quite high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes is also referred to as impaired fasting glucose.
Source: New York Times
BDST: 1105 HRS, AUG 23, 2012