Surgery Works Better Than Drugs at Blood Sugar Control in Obese Patients

| Apr 2, 2012

An Ohio-based study of overweight and obese type 2 patients shows that weight loss surgery works much better at controlling blood sugar levels than any known drug treatment.

The study, called STAMPEDE and conducted  by the Cleveland Clinic, compared results among 150 patients who had body mass indexes ranging from 27 (overweight) to 43 (morbidly obese). Their average HbA1C level was 9%.

Researchers divided the patients into three groups: Two of the groups were randomly assigned one of two types of weight-loss surgical procedures and no diabetes drugs. The third group received drugs but underwent no surgery.

The study goal was to see what percentage in each group achieved an A1c of 6% or lower after one year.

Forty-two percent of patients who underwent laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, which allows food to bypass part of the small intestine, reached the 6% or lower goal.

Thirty-seven percent of patients who underwent sleeve gastrectomy, which dramatically reduces stomach size, achieved the 6% or lower target.

Twelve percent of patients in the drugs-only treatment group reached the goal.

Currently, gastric bypass surgery is limited to patients with a body mass index of 35 or greater-severely obese. But because many bypass patients are and have been type 2s, surgeons have often noticed dramatic improvements in type 2s' symptoms after the surgeries.

The beneficial effects of the surgeries have created a push among some surgeons and diabetes advocates to make health insurance companies lower the BMI required to qualify a person for bypass surgery coverage. The first part of the push would be lower the qualifying BMI number to 31. A second part would be to extend the bypass surgery option to type 2s on the grounds that the cost of the surgery would be more than repaid by a reduction in the expense of treating type 2s over the course of several decades.

An estimated 80 percent of the 23 million Americans who have type 2 are overweight or obese.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: A1C, BMI, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 2 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (4)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 4 comments - Apr 2, 2012

©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.