An analysis of the Swedish Obese Subjects study revealed that weight-loss surgery in obese patients reduces cardiovascular events, but researchers don’t understand why this happens.
A 15-year follow up of the SOS study showed that weight-loss surgery led to a 30% reduction in cardiovascular events and nearly a 50% reduction in cardiovascular deaths in obese patients when compared to traditional treatment methods.
"This is very important since no nonsurgical obesity treatments have been able to reduce cardiovascular disease," lead researcher Dr. Lars Sjöström told heartwire. "Bariatric surgery is so far unique in its ability to reduce cardiovascular events."
Researchers aren’t sure of the mechanisms behind the reduction in heart-disease incidents. Although results showed a minimization of cardiovascular events after weight-loss procedures, patients’ body-mass index both before and after surgery provide no hints toward the stark improvement in patient heart health.
Sjöström told the news organization that it could take as much as 10 years for researchers to understand the link between bariatric surgery and cardiovascular events and to determine which patients would benefit most for weight-loss procedures.
The Swedish Obese Subjects study is the only prospective study linking cardiovascular events and weight loss surgery, but 2 retrospective bariatric-surgery studies support the findings, according to Sjöström.
In May, the American Heart Assn. announced that weight loss surgery may help severely obese patients with symptoms ranging from liver disease to diabetes.
In a "scientific statement" published in its Circulation journal, the AMA said a review of recent studies of bariatric surgery procedures showed that they can help some patients with a body mass index of 40 or more with a range of other health problems.
American hospitals responded to an increase in last year’s morbidly obese patient admissions by increasing the amount training, services and supplies needed to serve the growing patient population, according to group purchasing organization Novation’s 2011 bariatric survey.
The GPO’s nationwide poll of VHA and UHC hospitals saw a 58% increase in admissions of morbidly obese patients over a period 18 months.
The facilities that offered gastric banding surgery also reported a 78% increase in the number of bariatric-related reconstructive surgeries.