Conference Coverage

The case for bariatric surgery to manage CV risk in diabetes



In trials that afforded a direct comparison of medical therapy and bariatric surgery obesity and diabetes, Dr. Hurley said that randomized trials generally show no change to modest change in HbA1c levels with medical management. By contrast, patients in the surgical arms showed a range of improvement ranging from a reduction of just under 1% to reductions of over 5%, with an average reduction of more than 2% across the trials.

Separating out data from the randomized controlled trials with patient BMIs averaging 35 kg/m2 or less, odds ratios still favored bariatric surgery over medication therapy for diabetes-related outcomes in this lower-BMI population, said Dr. Hurley (Diabetes Care 2016;39:924-33).

More data come from a recently reported randomized trial that assigned patients with T2D and a mean BMI of 37 kg/m2 (range, 27-43) to intensive medical therapy, or either sleeve gastrectomy (SG) or RYGB. The study, which had a 90% completion rate at the 5-year mark, found that both surgical procedures were significantly more effective at reducing HbA1c to 6% or less 12 months into the study (P less than .001).

At the 60-month mark, 45% of the RYGB and 25% of the SG patients were on no diabetes medications, while just 2% of the medical therapy arm had stopped all medications, and 40% of this group remained on insulin 5 years into the study, said Dr. Hurley (N Engl J Med. 2017;376:641-651).

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