Benefits of Bariatric Surgery in Diabetic Patients Persist at 5 Years — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 16, 2017

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery in Diabetic Patients Persist at 5 Years

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM

Bariatric surgery leads to better glycemic control than intensive medical therapy in diabetic patients, even 5 years after surgery, according to long-term follow-up from the industry-supported STAMPEDE trial. The findings appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In STAMPEDE, 150 obese adults with type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive intensive medical therapy alone or with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. Some 134 patients completed 5 years of follow-up.

The primary outcome — glycated hemoglobin below 6% — was achieved more often in the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy groups (29% and 23%, respectively) than in the medical-therapy-alone group (5%). Surgical patients also had better quality of life and used fewer diabetes and cardiovascular medications than did patients on medical therapy alone.

Having diabetes for less than 8 years was a major predictor of achieving glucose control, the authors note. "This finding," they add, "underscores the importance of early surgical intervention for maximal glycemic benefit."

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