Surgery helps cure diabetes in obese

Gastric banding boosts the chance of remission from type-2 diabetes five-fold, according to US research findings.

Findings come from a trial involving 60 obese patients with a BMI between 30 and 40.

Patients were assigned to gastric surgery or conventional diabetes therapy, which focused on lifestyle changes such as reduced intake of saturated fats.

After two years, 43 per cent were found to be in remission from diabetes. Of these patients, 73 per cent were from the gastric surgery group and 13 per cent from the conventional treatment group.

The surgical group also displayed four times greater reduction in HbA1C levels, compared with the conventional group.

Because the surgical group lost almost 20 per cent of their weight and the conventional group just 1.7 per cent, the researchers concluded that 'the degree of weight loss is the major driver of glycaemic improvements and diabetes remission in obese patients'.

- JAMA 2008; 299: 316-23

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