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Cardiac factors

Bypass surgery reduces risk of heart attack

Study: 11 risk factors reduced after surgery
“Astounding” 80% fall in C-reactive protein is “significantly better than the best medical therapy achieves”

Gastric bypass surgery can lead to significantly reduced cardiac risk factors even seven years after the operation, according to new research presented at the ASMBS’ 29th annual meeting in San Diego.

The study, ‘Long Term Improvement in Biochemical Cardiac Risk Factors Following Gastric Bypass’, found that 11 risk factors for heart attack, including total cholesterol, triglycerides and C-reactive protein levels, remained greatly reduced in patients during long-term follow-up.

“Patients significantly decreased their risk for having a heart attack within the first year of surgery and maintained that benefit over the long-term,” said lead study author John Morton, MD, associate professor of surgery and director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics at Stanford University.

The study involved 182 patients who had surgery and follow-up beyond three years at Stanford between 2003 and 2011. Patients were 44 years old on average, and had an average BMI of 47.

In up to seven years of follow-up, patients maintained 56% EWL on average. Almost 25% of patients were on statins before surgery: these were discontinued shortly afterwards.

High sensitivity C-reactive protein fell by 80% (10.9 to 2.6mg/dL), a result which Morton described as “astounding”.

“This is significantly better than what the best medical therapy has been shown to achieve and underscores the inflammatory nature of obesity, which can be reversed with surgical weight loss,” said Morton.

Patients saw a 40% increase in high-density lipoproteins, a 66% drop in fasting insulin levels, and a 55% drop in triglycerides.

Researchers also noted significant decreases in blood pressure and diabetes markers like fasting insulin and hemoglobin A1c.

The US government estimated that in 2008, annual obesity-related health spending reached $147 billion, double what it was a decade ago.

Study co-authors include Nayna Lodhia, Leanne Almario, Adam Eltorai, Jaffer Kattan, Matthew Kerolus, and Margaret Nkansah, all from Stanford University.

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