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Weight Loss Surgeries can Slash Diabetes Risk

Update Date: Nov 04, 2014 09:21 AM EST

Obese people can drastically cut risk of developing diabetes with weight loss surgeries, a new study claims.

Obesity is a primary risk factor for developing type-2 diabetes. It is well known that weight loss can lower diabetes risk. However nearly 80 percent of diabetics are obese and nearly 3 percent of severely obese people develop diabetes every year in the UK. The new study published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology examined benefits from weight loss surgeries like laparoscopic adjustable banding, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass.

"Our results suggest that bariatric surgery may be a highly effective method of preventing the onset of new diabetes in men and women with severe obesity. We need to understand how weight loss surgery can be used, together with interventions to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating, as part of an overall diabetes prevention strategy," a press release quoted Martin Gulliford, Professor of Public Health at King's College London, UK.

To arrive at their conclusions, researchers identified 2,167 obese adults who underwent a surgical procedure for weight loss, and compared them to 2,167 obese control subjects but who did not undergo weight loss treatment. The test and control subjects were followed up for a maximum period of 7 years.

During the study which began in 2002, 38 test subjects developed diabetes as against 177 cases in the control group. The researchers concluded that diabetes incidence reduced by 80 percent in those who had undergone weight loss surgeries.

The study holds significance for many countries including UK, where 26 percent of the adult population is obese.

"Although the results bring us a step closer to confirming the effect of bariatric surgery on the incidence of de-novo type 2 diabetes, many questions still remain unanswered, and more evidence is needed to convince endocrinologists about the nature of this effect," said Dr. Jacques Himpens from Saint Pierre University Hospital in Brussels while commenting on the study. 

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