Gastric bypass surgery is usually recommended for extremely obese patients, but it may also be effective in treating type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol in moderately obese patients, according to the results of a study published in the June 5, 2013, edition of JAMA.
The study compared intensive lifestyle management interventions with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in 120 diabetes patients with BMIs between 30 and 39.9. Beginning in April 2008, all patients participated in the lifestyle intervention, and half were randomly assigned to receive Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery as well.
After 12 months, 49% of the participants who received gastric bypass surgery met the goals of the study, which included a glycated hemoglobin level below 7%, LDL cholesterol under 100 mg/dL, and systolic blood pressure under 130 mm Hg. By comparison, just 19% of those in the lifestyle intervention group met these goals. In addition, those in the gastric bypass group lost approximately 26% of their initial body weight compared with approximately 8% in the lifestyle intervention group. Patients who underwent gastric bypass also needed 3 fewer medications on average than those who received only lifestyle intervention.
However, more gastric bypass patients experienced nutritional deficiency, and 22 suffered serious adverse events after surgery.