(HealthDay News) — Bariatric surgery is associated with reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, according to a review and meta-analysis published in the April 15 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology.

Chun Shing Kwok, MBBS, from the University of Manchester in the UK, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to examine clinical outcomes associated with bariatric surgery compared with nonsurgical treatment. Fourteen studies were identified, including 29,208 patients who underwent bariatric surgery and 166,200 nonsurgical controls. A meta-analysis was conducted to assess the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular events, and mortality.

Ten of the studies were at moderate or lower risk of bias, while four were considered moderate-high risk. The researchers found that patients who underwent bariatric surgery had more than a 50% reduction in mortality compared with nonsurgical controls (14 studies: odds ratio, 0.48). In pooled analysis of adjusted data from four studies there was a significantly reduced risk of composite cardiovascular adverse events in association with bariatric surgery (odds ratio, 0.54). Reductions were also seen in the specific end points of myocardial infarction and stroke (odds ratios, 0.46 and 0.49, respectively).

“Future randomized studies should investigate whether these observations are reproduced in a clinical trials setting,” the authors write.

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