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Undergoing Weight Loss Surgery Reduces Risk of Heart Disease : Study

Update Date: Jun 20, 2012 06:52 PM EDT

Undergoing weight-loss surgery can be beneficial not only to attain a desirable figure, but also to cut down the risk of heart disease, a new study has found.

The study has shown, those who underwent weight-loss surgery had reduced risks of a heart attack and a stroke after seven years of the surgery.

Although the study does not give enough evidence that it is the weight-loss surgery that reduces the risk of cardiac problems, there are other studies which also support that hypothesis.

Weight-loss surgeries such as gastric bypass and gastric band have many risks of their own and are recommended only for extremely obese patients.

However, the findings suggest the procedure provides quite a few benefits to the patients, said study co-author Dr. John Morton, Director of Bariatric Surgery and Surgical Quality at Stanford University School of Medicine. "For most of them, they came back to normal," he said. "There were roughly about a dozen measurements altogether, and there were substantial improvements across the board," reports Health Day.

Weigh-loss surgeries basically help a patient control the amount of food intake and according to a Swedish study published in January in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reduce the risk of death from a heart attack.

For the study, researchers observed 182 patients(mostly women), who were around 44 years of age. The researchers tracked the patients for seven years and found that their cholesterol level fell from 184 to 174, LDL cholesterol dropped from 113 to 92, and triglycerides fell from 151 to 87.

Also, a considerable drop in the level of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was found, which again indicated a reduced risk of cardiac diseases.

According to Dr. Robin Blackstone, President of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the research is important since it tracks the effects of weight-loss surgery on patients over several years. The procedure could help patients cut down risks via weight loss.

However, weight loss surgeries also have negative impacts, warns Lona Sandon, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says the report.

Although it can help people lose weight quickly, "which is important for people who are at high risk, such as those with heart disease and uncontrolled diabetes," it also bears the risk of causing complications, such as infections, she said.

"Also, it can lead to malnutrition, as the amount of food someone can eat is very restricted and because part of the intestine is bypassed, meaning some nutrients cannot be absorbed," she added.

The study is scheduled to be presented on Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, in San Diego.

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