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Studies Highlight Long-Term Benefits of Gastric Surgery for Diabetes Prevention and Remission

Two significant studies on gastric surgeries and diabetes were presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery’s 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting, revealing promising long-term benefits for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

Gastric Surgery Reduces Diabetes Risk in Prediabetes Patients

A retrospective study analyzed 1,326 participants with prediabetes and severe obesity who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy between 2001 and 2022 The study found that those who had the surgery were 20 times less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over 15 years compared to those who did not have the surgery

Key findings include that only 2% of participants developed diabetes within 5 years post-surgery, about 3% developed diabetes within 10 years, and less than 7% within 15 years In contrast, 31% of non-surgery participants developed diabetes within 5 years, 51% within 10 years, and 68% within 15 years

Participants who had bariatric surgery also lost an average of 29% of their body weight at 12 months and maintained a 27% weight loss at 36 months Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding from NYU Langone Health emphasized the importance of taking prediabetes seriously and adjusting treatment strategies if current efforts to manage weight or blood sugar are not working

Long-Term Diabetes Remission After Gastric Bypass Surgery

The second study examined 2,045 participants who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery between 2001 and 2008 The research showed that type 2 diabetes could remain in remission for up to 15 years and that most participants maintained their weight loss for up to 20 years

Key findings include that 54% of participants with pre-operative diabetes were in remission at the three-year mark, 38% remained in remission after 15 years, and 10% of those with insulin-dependent diabetes experienced remission Additionally, peak weight loss of 32% was achieved after 18 months, stabilizing at 23% after 10 years

Dr. Mir Ali from MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center highlighted the effectiveness of weight loss surgery but noted its underutilization, with only 1-2% of eligible individuals undergoing the procedure He emphasized the importance of early intervention, preferably before insulin dependence, to maximize the benefits of surgery

Expert Opinions and Recommendations

Experts agree on the potential of gastric surgery to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes effectively Dr. Mitchell Roslin from Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital stated that surgery remains the best therapy for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, highlighting the need for greater awareness and education about surgical options

Obesity affects approximately 42% of people in the United States, contributing to various health issues, including type 2 diabetes Bariatric surgery offers a viable solution for those struggling with severe obesity and related conditions, providing long-term benefits for diabetes prevention and remission

For optimal health outcomes, experts recommend combining surgery with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and comprehensive diabetes management strategies.

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