Clear association between COVID-19 disease severity and obesity

There is a clear relationship between obesity and the severity of COVID-19 disease, according to research presented by François Pattou, Professor of Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lille, and head of the Department of General and Endocrine Surgery at Lille University Hospital, France, at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity.

HUMBLE brown-fat-like cells hold promise for obesity and diabetes

Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have delivered a proof of concept for a novel cell-based therapy for obesity that would by transplanting human brown-like (HUMBLE) fat cells, human white fat cells that have been genetically modified to become similar to heat-generating brown fat cells. The finding were reported in the paper, ‘CRISPR-engineered human brown-like adipocytes prevent diet-induced obesity and ameliorate metabolic syndrome in mice’, published in Science Translational Medicine.

Faecal microbiome plus dieting may limit weight regain

People who consume frozen microbiome capsules derived from their own faeces when dieting may limit their weight regain, according to a study. ‘Effects of Diet-Modulated Autologous Fecal Microbiota Transplantation on Weight Regain’, published in Gastroenterology, conducted by a team of researchers led by Israeli researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).

Synthetic coating for the GI tract could offer a new strategy to treat diabetes or obesity

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have devised a way to apply a temporary synthetic coating to the lining of the small intestine that could be adapted to deliver drugs, aid in digestion or prevent nutrients such as glucose from being absorbed, which could offer a new strategy to treat diabetes or obesity.

Novel combination therapy tethering T2DM drugs increases efficacy

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have shown that the efficacy of a two-pronged type 2 diabetes treatment increases when the drugs are linked by a heat-sensitive tether rather than simply concurrently administered. The combination molecule is formed by an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) linker that forms a gel-like depot when injected under the skin, which slowly dissolves and releases the active drug over time.

COVID-19: Patients with metabolic syndrome 3.4 times more likely to die

Patients hospitalised with COVID-19 who had a combination of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes were over three times more likely to die from the disease, according to a study by researchers from Tulane University. The study, ‘Metabolic Syndrome and COVID-19 Mortality Among Adult Black Patients in New Orleans’, published in the journal Diabetes Care, is the first to look at the impact of metabolic syndrome on outcomes for COVID-19 patients.

Origami-inspired surgical robotics brings technology down to the microscale

A collaboration between Wyss Associate Faculty member, Dr Robert Wood and Robotics Engineer Hiroyuki Suzuki from the Sony Corporation has brought surgical robotics down to the microscale by creating a new, origami-inspired miniature remote centre of motion manipulator (mini-RCM). The robot is the size of a tennis ball, is light weight and successfully performed a difficult mock surgical task. A review of the technology, ‘Origami-inspired miniature manipulator for teleoperated microsurgery’ was published in Nature Machine Intelligence.

IFSO-LAC issues recommendations for the resumption of elective bariatric surgery

The resumption of elective bariatric and metabolic surgery is crucial and must be a priority similar to oncological surgery because it is not only a weight loss operation but also resolves or improves comorbidities and appears to be an immune restorative procedure of obese patients in the medium term, according to recommendations from IFSO’s Latin America Chapter. The paper, ‘COVID-19: IFSO LAC Recommendations for the Resumption of Elective Bariatric Surgery’, was published in Obesity Surgery.

Bariatric patients continue to smoke after surgery

A considerable group of bariatric surgery patients continue smoking after surgery despite advice to quit and temporary quitting before surgery, according to researchers from The Netherlands. The authors noted that this is the first study in bariatric surgery evaluating self-reported smoking behaviour combined with thoughts about the health consequences of smoking cessation and actual health outcomes in current, former and never smokers.

Intensive lifestyle intervention can lower obesity-related cancer risk

Intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) aimed at weight loss lowered the incidence of obesity-related cancers in adults with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a randomised clinical trial that has examined long-term cancer outcomes in an ILI focused on weight loss by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

DUSP8 gene influences T2DM risk by impairing brain response

Researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) have reported that in men a genetic variant of the gene DUSP8 can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes by impairing the brain’s response to the hormone insulin. The findings were reported in the paper, ‘Type 2 diabetes risk gene Dusp8 regulates hypothalamic Jnk signaling and insulin sensitivity’, in the Journal of Clinical Investigations.

Major weight loss driver of post-surgical metabolic benefits

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis have suggested that weight loss after bariatric surgery, rather than the surgery itself, drives metabolic improvements such as the remission of diabetes. Their findings were published in the paper, ‘Effect of diet versus gastric bypass on metabolic function in diabetes’, in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Statistically significant relationship between prevalence of morbid obesity and COVID-19 mortality

The prevalence of morbid obesity in a population is associated with negative outcomes from COVID-19, according to an analysis by researchers at The University of Alabama (UA) of morbid obesity data and reported COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

Bariatric surgery associated with reduced long-term mortality risk

A study of more than 26,000 patients has reported that bariatric surgery is associated with a lower risk for dying over the long-term, especially for heavier patients and those who have bariatric surgery at older ages. The outcomes were featured in the paper, ‘Association Between Bariatric Surgery and All-Cause Mortality: A Population-Based Matched Cohort Study in a Universal Health Care System’, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

RYGB is an effective strategy for midterm BP control and hypertension remission

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is an effective strategy for midterm blood pressure (BP) control and hypertension remission with fewer medications required in patients with hypertension and obesity, according to the three-year results from the GAstric Bypass to Treat obEse Patients With steAdy hYpertension (GATEWAY) randomised clinical trial. The outcomes were published in the paper, ‘Three-Year Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery in Patients With Obesity and Hypertension Randomized Clinical Trial’, in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Obesity increases risk of dying from COVID-19, especially in younger men

There is a striking association between BMI and risk for death among patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19, reports a retrospective cohort study, ‘Obesity and Mortality Among Patients Diagnosed With COVID-19: Results From an Integrated Health Care Organization’, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The association was independent of obesity-related comorbities and other potential confounders.