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07/05/2005 - News

Weight loss surgery reduces heart risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Weight loss surgery reduces heart risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A study shows that gastric bypass surgery has a dramatic impact on heart disease risk for the morbidly obese.
There has been a steep increase in the number of gastric bypass surgeries performed in recent years - from 29,000 procedures in 1999 to 141,000 in 2004. The surgery is not without risk but, as a study from Stanford University now shows, it can have great benefit too.

The researchers looked at a group of 371 patients, measuring their heart disease risk factors before and 12 months after surgery. For the first time, levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in this context. Recent research has suggested that elevated levels of CRP are an important indicator of heart risk.

All measures improved after surgery, to bring the participants into the normal range which would greatly reduce their chance of heart disease. Indeed, the improvements went beyond what would be expected with weight loss alone and suggest there is some way in which bypassing the stomach itself alters heart disease risk.

American Society for Bariatric Surgery meeting 30th June 2005

Created on: 07/05/2005
Reviewed on: 07/05/2005

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