Research shows gastric surgery halves risk of heart attack in obese people

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02 Apr 2014

Obese people who have stomach surgery to help them lose weight will halve their risk of heart attack according to new research from a team of doctors at The University of Manchester, University of East Anglia and University of Aberdeen.

Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn FreeDigitalPhoto.net


The procedures, known as bariatric surgery, involve techniques such as gastric banding, which are available on the National Health Service (NHS), UK for selected patients.
 
New research published today in the International Journal of Cardiology reviewed data from 14 studies involving more than 29,000 patients who underwent bariatric surgery. It reveals that death rates were reduced by 40 per cent, and that heart attacks in particular were reduced by half – compared to obese people who did not have surgery.
 
The research is the first comprehensive review of the impact of surgery on heart disease, stroke disease and death.
 
Senior author Dr Yoon Loke from UEA’s Norwich Medical School said: “Obesity is a worldwide problem with significant consequences on individuals and society. It is associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many cancers, and a shorter life expectancy. 
 
“The latest government figures from 2011 show that obesity affects about one in four people in the UK and this figure is growing. During 2011-12, the NHS reported 11,736 hospital admissions due to obesity, which represents an 11-fold increase compared to the 1019 admissions in 2001-02.
 
“We looked at the outcomes for patients who undergo bariatric surgery, and compared them to figures for obese people who had not received surgery. We saw that surgery was potentially life-saving and could lower the risk of having a heart attack and stroke by almost 50 per cent. 
 
“These findings suggest that surgery should be seriously considered in obese patients who have a high risk of heart disease. This is the right time for a large, high-quality trial of bariatric surgery in the NHS to confirm the potential benefits.”
 
Dr Mamas Mamas, Clinical Senior Lecturer and honorary consultant cardiologist in the Institute of Cardiovascular sciences, based at The University of Manchester, who co-led the research added that bariatric surgery represents an important opportunity to reduce the cardiovascular disease burden in morbidly obese individuals who are at very high risk of future cardiovascular events. "The current analysis suggests that weight loss through bariatric surgery can halve the risk of mortality, myocardial infarction and stroke in such a high risk population representing an important breakthrough in the treatment of obese patients. Future research should focus on mechanisms through which weight loss mediated by bariatric surgery can produce these benefits."
 
Professor Bernard Keavney British Heart Foundation (BHF) Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at The University of Manchester, Dr Simon Anderson, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Lecturer in Cardiology and Dr Chun Shing Kwok, honorary research fellow, both based at The University of Manchester’s Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, also worked on the research. 
 
The mean age of participants was 48 years old, and 30 per cent of participants were male. The original studies were carried out the North America, Europe and Australia, and patients were followed-up from two years to 14 years, including Greater Manchester?
 
‘Bariatric surgery and its impact on cardiovascular disease and mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis’ was published in the International Journal of Cardiology on March 28.
 
ENDS

Notes for editors

To interview Dr Mamas Mamas from The University of Manchester and for more information about the University of Manchester involvement, please contact Alison Barbuti, 0161 275 8383 or email alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk

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