Weight loss surgery can help reduce metabolic syndrome in obese patients

CHICAGO Obese patients who underwent surgical treatment for weight loss had significant reductions in the components of the metabolic syndrome one year after surgery, according to an article in the October issue of The Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

According to the article, obese patients are at risk for numerous health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and other illnesses. Hypertension, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance (a hallmark of diabetes) and obesity together represent a disorder called the metabolic syndrome. People with the metabolic syndrome are at an increased risk for developing diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease and have higher death rates, the article states.

Wei-Jei Lee, M.D., Ph.D., of En-Chu Kong Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues determined the prevalence and characteristics of patients enrolling in a surgical weight loss program who met the criteria for the metabolic syndrome and examined the efficacy of surgically induced weight loss on the treatment of the metabolic syndrome.

From December 1, 1999 through March 31, 2002, 645 morbidly obese patients enrolled in a surgical weight loss program and were followed up for one year after their surgeries. Of the patients, 337 (52.2 percent) met criteria for the metabolic syndrome. Patients with the metabolic syndrome tended to be older (31.5 years vs. 28.1 years), and were more likely to be male (127 [37.7 percent] of 337 men vs. 81 [26.3 percent] of 308 women). Laparoscopic vertical banded gastroplasty (which limits food intake by creating a small pouch in the upper stomach) was performed in 528 patients (81.9 percent) and laparoscopic gastric bypass (surgery that causes food to bypass much of the intestinal tract, thereby limiting absorption of calories) was performed in 117 patients (18.1 percent).

There was significant weight loss in bo

Contact: Wei-Jei Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
JAMA and Archives Journals

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