Washington: Overweight patients suffering from type 2 diabetes continue to improve or reverse their diabetes, as well as reduce their cardiovascular risk factors, nine years after undergoing bariatric surgery, a research has revealed.
Lead investigator Stacy Brethauer, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, asserted that their study showed that 80 percent of the diabetic patients still control their blood glucose five years after their bariatric surgery.
She said that additionally, nearly 33 percent of gastric bypass patients had normal blood glucose levels off medication for over 5 years after surgery.
The retrospective study analyzed data on 217 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery between 2004 and 2007 and had at least five years follow-up. The patients were divided into three groups: 162 patients underwent gastric bypass surgery, 32 had the gastric banding procedure done, and 23 underwent sleeve gastrectomy.
Researchers used strict criteria to define glycemic control, including an HbA1c level of less than 6 percent, which is a more aggressive target than the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines. ADA recommends an HbA1c target of 7 percent.
At a median follow-up of six years, data show that diabetes remission occurred in 50 percent of patients after bariatric surgery. Specifically, 24 percent of patients sustained complete remission of their diabetes with a blood sugar level of less than six percent without diabetes medications, and another 26 percent achieved partial remission; 34 percent of all patients improved their long-term diabetes control compared to presurgery status.
As expected, the patients who received gastric bypass experienced the highest rates of weight loss and diabetic remission.
The study has been published online in the journal, Annals of Surgery.