Weight loss surgery 'doesn't cure diabetes'
People with type 2 diabetes who undergo weight loss surgery may experience an improvement in their blood sugar control. However, the procedure will not cure them of the condition, scientists have said.
According to UK researchers, obesity continues to be a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes - most people are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed. Previous studies have indicated that as many as eight in 10 people with diabetes have been cured of the condition following weight loss surgery, such as a gastric bypass. However, the team from Imperial College London did not find this to be the case.
According to the American Diabetes Association, a person is considered to be in remission if their body displays normal glucose measurements for at least 12 months after surgery without the aid of diabetes medication.
The UK researchers looked at more than 200 people with type 2 diabetes who had undergone one of three types of weight loss surgery. Gastric bypass was found to be the most effective type of such surgery, however the remission rate was found to be just over 40%, far less than the eight out of 10 previously suggested.
"Using the new criteria, we don't get such eye-catching figures as some that have been quoted in recent years. But it's clear that weight loss surgery, particularly gastric bypass, has a significant beneficial effect on glucose control," commented lead researcher, Dr Carel le Roux.
The team added that 'surgery and medication together achieve better results than either treatment on its own'.
Details of these findings are published in the British Journal of Surgery.
[Posted: Thu 05/01/2012]