Obesity surgery may lower heart attack danger in diabetics

New research suggests obesity surgery may dramatically lower the danger of heart attacks and strokes in patients with diabetes, reinforcing evidence that benefits extend beyond weight loss.

The study tracked about 20,000 severely obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. 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 those who got usual care with diabetes medicines or insulin.

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, mostly Type 2 where the body loses the ability to produce or use insulin to turn food into energy.

Other research has shown obesity surgery can reverse and even prevent diabetes.

Research results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dawn Kamber