New Study: Obesity surgery may reverse, prevent diabetes

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New research shows obesity surgery can dramatically lower one’s risk of developing diabetes, having a heart attack and stroke, as well as even possibly reverse diabetes.

The Associated Press reports that a new study tracked around 20,000 obese patients with Type 2 diabetes and found that those who had weight loss surgery had a 40 percent lower chance of developing a heart attack or stroke in the five years following surgery, compared to others who received regular diabetic treatment with insulin and other medications.

For every 1,000 patients in the study who had surgery, there were roughly 20 heart attacks or strokes compared to 40 such events per 1,000 who got regular care.

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, the AP says, and most have Type 2, which causes the body to lose its ability to produce insulin naturally.

Other research shows obesity surgery can even reverse and even prevent diabetes. 

Taken together, it means doctors should discuss weight loss surgery more often, said study co-author Dr. David Arterburn of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.

Doctors usually mention insulin and pills, “but it’s not always brought up that weight loss surgery is another available treatment option,” Arterburn said.

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