Study Shows Bariatric Surgery Reduces Heart Risks Post-Op

According to a recent study, gastric bypass surgery patients see a dramatic impact on their heart disease risk especially morbidly obese patients. This increase has been found in the number of gastric bypass surgeries from 29,000 procedures in 1999 to more than 200,000 alone in 2012. The surgery does give people without risk, but as many studies including one from Stanford University, it can have benefits also.

About the Study

This study looked at 371 patients who measured their heart disease risk factors both before surgery and a year afterward. Their C-reactive protein levels were measured for the first time in this study. Recent studies have suggested that high levels of CRP are an indicator of increased heart risk. During the study, they found all these measures improved after surgery which brought these patients at a normal rate which reduced their heart disease chance. The improvements found in this study went beyond what was expected in associated with excess weight loss alone.

Cleveland Clinic researchers found that bariatric surgery also improves the structure and the functioning of the heart. The study was led by James Young, MD, Chair of their Endocrinology and Metabolism Institute. They looked at nearly 73 bariatric surgery and other cardiovascular risk factor studies looking at nearly 20,000 patients who had bariatric surgery.

The researchers in this study found that before surgery nearly 44% of these patients had high blood pressure, 24% had diabetes and 44% had high cholesterol. After surgery, 63% of these patients saw improvements in their blood pressures, 65% had cholesterol levels fall and 73% saw improvements in their diabetes. The follow-up average was 57.8 months after surgery. The findings of their study were published in Heart.

The leader of the study, Dir. Young believes that their study shows that losing weight leads to a reduced risk of heart risk or heart attack in overweight, obese and morbidly obese patients. While it’s no secret that bariatric surgery has risks, it can be life-saving for many patients, especially those with an increased risk of cardiovascular risk. Ultimately, there is no alternative to surgery that can produce the same results.

The study also found in the 713 patients who underwent surgery shows a large decline in the patients’ thickness of the heart muscle which is a huge risk factor for heart failure in patients. They also found that diastolic function significantly improved after surgery. Also, the e/a ratio, which measures the filling velocity of the heart improved in 391 patients as well as the opening of the mitral valve.

Nearly 2.6 million patients die each year as a result of their weight, the World Health Organization reports. Some of the risk factors associated with obesity include diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, heart failure, stroke and heart attack.

This study shows how weight loss surgery can help those with the risk of future health problems potentially save their life.