Weight Loss Surgery May Lower Heart Disease Risk

An obese man.

Weight loss surgery decreases the risk for heart disease, according to new research.

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio looked at data from 52 studies and nearly 17,000 patients who had undergone weight-loss surgery.  They found that the risk of heart disease decreased to less than four percent after weight-loss surgery, compared to over six percent beforehand.

"The bariatric community has recognized the remarkable metabolic benefits of weight loss surgery for several years, so we were not too surprised by the findings reported in this study," said study author Dr. Helen M. Heneghan, as quoted by Reuters. "However, these findings may surprise cardiologists and physicians who treat obese patients for weight-related illnesses on a daily basis, yet are less familiar with the dramatic metabolic effects of bariatric surgery."

The research also found that patients lost about half of their excess weight after the surgery, and that 68 percent saw a decrease in their high blood pressure. Similarly, diabetes improved in 75 percent of the patients.

According to Heneghan, doctors should view the results of the study as significant, and recognize that their obese patients with cardiovascular risk factors would benefit from weight-loss surgery.

The research was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Print Article