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Home E-Weekly June 18, 2013

Is Bariatric Surgery Always the Best Solution?

Published: June 18, 2013

Although bariatric surgery has been shown to be an effective path to weight loss and diabetes control for obese patients who have BMIs of 35 or greater, along with obesity-related comorbidities, more data is needed to conclude that the surgery is also appropriate for diabetic patients with BMIs in the 30 to 35 range.

Researchers at UCLA who reviewed more than 50 studies from which direct and indirect comparisons could be drawn have concluded that data support the notion that the surgery benefits the 30 to 35 group, too, at least in the short run.

But, they caution, there is "no robust surgical data beyond 5 years of follow-up on outcomes of diabetes, glucose control, or macrovascular and microvascular outcomes" and that "long-term adverse events are unknown."

In contrast, the available data support benefits at 10 years or more for nonsurgical therapies, say the researchers, who reported their findings in the June 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jim Burger

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