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Weight Loss Surgery Lowers Cardiovascular Risk, Study



Bariatric surgery lowers patients' heart disease risk, according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology. This finding shows the benefits of bariatric surgery extend beyond weight loss.

Chief investigator Dr. Helen Heneghan from the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute's Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland Ohio and other researchers investigator the impact that weight loss surgery would have on cardiovascular risk factors and mortality. To this end they systematically reviewed sixty years of published research available on the PubMed and Cochrane Library databases.

The review, which included data from 52 studies involving 16,867 patients (78 % female, median age 42 years) from 1950 to 2010, revealed that patients lost 52 % of their excess body weight. Moreover, risk factors for complications associated with heart disease (hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia) declined significantly.


Bariatric Surgery Improves Cardiovascular Health

According to the report, weight loss surgery has a remarkable effect on the prevalence of patients' cardiovascular risk factors. Some highlights include the following:

  1. Mean systolic blood pressure decreased from 139 to 124 mm of mercury and diastolic blood pressure from 87 to 77 mm of mercury. (High blood pressure increases risk for heart attack, stroke and other complications.)
  2. C-reactive protein decreased. (High CRP puts people at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.)
  3. Improved endothelial function. (Unhealthy blood vessels increase cardiovascular risk.)
  4. Framington risk scoring system showed a 40 % relative risk reduction in 10 year coronary heart disease risk. (This scoring system is used to determine the chances of a person having a heart atack or stroke within a 5 to 10 year time frame.)

Weight loss surgery is an option often used by people who suffer from morbid obesity, and the results of Heneghan's study reveal the health benefits for those who undergo the procedure.


What Does This Study Mean To You?

It's important to bear in mind that bariatric surgery is very expensive and is beyond the means of millions of cash strapped Americans. So what does this study do for them? Quite simply it underscores the need to lose weight.  

For years health officials and scientists have warned the public about the health risks associated with being extremely overweight or obese. The obesity has reached epidemic proportions, placing an extreme burden on the health of the individual and the nation.

Weight loss surgery may not be a luxury that many Americans can no longer afford. But there are other ways to lose weight. The most common causes of obesity are poor diet and physical inactivity. These contribute to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

People must be proactive. Taking a combined approach which involves participation in physical activities such as aerobics and strength training, as well as eating a balanced diet of healthy foods will have a positive impact on health and well-being.

If you're overweight or obese and want to shed unhealthy body fat, talk to your doctor about setting up a program that is best suited to your needs. It could save your life.

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Article Sources

Heneghan, H et al. Effect of Bariatric Surgery on Cardiovascular Risk Profile. The American College of Cardiology.doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.06.076

Farmington Risk Score- wikipedia.


"Weight Loss Surgery Lowers Cardiovascular Risk, Study" copyright 2011 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy. All Rights Reserved.




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