Bariatric Surgery Tied to Reduced CVD Events, Mortality

Significantly fewer cardiovascular deaths and events for obese who undergo bariatric surgery

TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For obese individuals, bariatric surgery is associated with significantly reduced incidence of cardiovascular events, and decreased cardiovascular death, versus usual care, according to a study published in the Jan. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lars Sjöström, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues investigated the association between bariatric surgery, weight loss, and cardiovascular events in obese individuals from the Swedish Obese Subjects study. Patients aged 37 to 60 years, with a body mass index of at least 34 kg/m² in men and 38 kg/m² in women, were recruited from 1987 to 2001. Participants included 2,010 obese individuals who underwent bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, banding, or vertical banded gastroplasty) and 2,037 who received usual care. The primary end point, published in 2007, was total mortality; and myocardial infarction and stroke were secondary end points.

The investigators found that bariatric surgery was associated with a significant reduction in the number of cardiovascular deaths (28 and 49 deaths in the surgery and usual care groups, respectively; adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.47). The number of total first-time cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction or stroke) was significantly lower in the surgery group than the usual care group (199 versus 234 events; adjusted HR, 0.67).

"This is the first prospective, controlled intervention to our knowledge reporting that bariatric surgery is associated with reduced incidence of cardiovascular deaths and cardiovascular events," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and weight-loss industries. Study funding was obtained from Hoffmann LaRoche, AstraZeneca, Cederroths, Sanofi-Aventis, and Johnson & Johnson.

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