Weight Loss Surgery Improves Heart Health

Weight loss surgery can resolve high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a review of three medical studies that underscored the metabolic benefits of bariatric surgery.

The ten-year risk of having a heart attack was reduced from more than six percent to less than four percent after weight loss surgery, according to an analysis of three previous medical studies that was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Researchers at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic reviewed 52 studies involving nearly 17,000 patients who had weight loss surgery. Patients lost about half their excess weight, findings showed, and 68% of patients saw their high blood pressure dip or disappear, reducing their risk of future heart attack and stroke. In the only study that reported on deaths from heart attacks, weight loss surgery cut the rate from 1.2 percent to 0.65 percent.

The medical literature review also showed that diabetes improved in 75% of patients as early as three months after surgery.

“We hope that after reading this review, physicians will recognize that their obese patients with cardiovascular risk factors or established cardiovascular disease would benefit immensely from weight loss surgery,” lead researcher Dr. Helen Heneghan told Reuters Health. Although cardiologists and physicians often see obese patients daily to provide treatment for weight-related illnesses, many are less familiar with the dramatic metabolic effects of bariatric surgery, she noted.

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