A study conducted by Professor Lars Sjöström, Prof Lena Carlsson and their team at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, has found that bariatric surgery is considerably more effective than traditional care and lifestyle changes in preventing diabetes among people with obesity.
The treatment group consisted of 1,658 subjects who had undergone bariatric surgery, while the control group consisted of 1,771 equally obese people who had received traditional care.
During 15-year follow-up, 392 people in the control group and only 110 people in the treatment group developed diabetes.
“Our results show that bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by more than 80%,” Professor Sjöström says. “This is an extremely high figure.”
The study is based on an extensive study entitled Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS), which has given rise to more than 90 scientific articles and demonstrated that bariatric surgery is also highly beneficial when it comes to cancer, cardiovascular disease, total mortality and health-related quality of life.
“Both women and men benefited in terms of diabetes,” Professor Sjöström says, “but the degree of obesity at baseline did not affect the results.”
The article, “Bariatric Surgery and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes in Swedish Obese Persons,” will appear in the August 23 issue of NEJM.
FACTS ABOUT THE SOS STUDY
Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) is one of the largest studies ever conducted on obesity treatment. The results of the study helped raise the number of bariatric operations in Sweden from a few hundred in 1987 to almost 10,000 in 2011.