Stockholm: Obese people who had weight-loss surgery were less likely to later suffer a heart attack or stroke, or to die from one, compared to people who did not have the surgery, according to a Swedish study. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, come from a study of more than 4,000 obese people treated at 500 surgery departments and health care centers in Sweden.Between 1987 and 2001, half of those people opted for bariatric or weight-loss surgeries, most often stomach stapling, and the other half were treated with routine care, including advice on lifestyle changes."Compared with usual care, bariatric surgery was associated with reduced number of cardiovascular deaths and lower incidence of cardiovascular events in obese adults," wrote lead researcher Lars Sjostrom at the University of Gothenburg.The patients were followed for more than a decade, on average, to see how many of them suffered a heart attack or stroke.In total, 199 who underwent bariatric surgery had their first heart attack or stroke, and 28 died as a result. By comparison, 234 people who decided against the surgery suffered a heart attack or stroke, and 49 died."This is very beneficial in filling that gap -- we just have so little long-term data," said Ted Adams, a researcher who has studied bariatric surgery and health outcomes at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City.
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