Hypertension Reduced After Weight-loss Surgery
After reviewing data on 347 patientswho had undergone bariatric surgery,researchers at the University of PittsburghSchool of Medicine found that, aspatients'weights decreased, so did theirsystolic and diastolic blood pressures(BPs). The data review included patients'weights, body mass indexes (BMIs), BPs,and use of antihypertensives. Although allpatients had a BMI >40 before the surgery,only about half of the patients had hypertension.At 18 months post surgery,patients'BMIs were reduced to ~35, andboth systolic and diastolic BPs were significantlydecreased. Patients with hypertensionwho were not taking medicationsexperienced the greatest reduction in BP.Thirty-five of the 103 patients taking BPmedications were able to discontinuethose medications, and their BPs returnedto normal range. The authors note that thefindings do not show whether hypertensioneventually returns. They suggest aprospective study to determine long-termresults. These findings appeared in theMarch 2006 issue of the Archives ofSurgery.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.