(HealthDay News) – For obese patients, bariatric surgery is associated with greater body weight loss and with higher remission rates of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome compared with non-surgical treatment, according to research published online Oct. 22 in BMJ.

Victoria L. Gloy, PhD, from the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the overall effects of bariatric surgery vs. non-surgical treatment for obesity. Eleven eligible randomized trials, including 796 individuals with a body mass index of 30kg/² or more and with six or more months of follow-up, were included in the meta-analysis.

The researchers found that participants randomized to bariatric surgery lost more body weight than those randomized to non-surgical treatment (mean difference, −26kg). In addition, they had a higher remission rate of type 2 diabetes (relative risk, 22.1 in a complete case analysis; 5.3 in a conservative analysis) and of metabolic syndrome (relative risk, 2.4 and 1.5, respectively). There was also a greater decrease in plasma triglyceride concentrations and a greater increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations with surgery. No cardiovascular events or death were reported after bariatric surgery. The most common adverse events were iron deficiency anemia and reoperations.

“Compared with non-surgical treatment of obesity, bariatric surgery leads to greater body weight loss and higher remission rates of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and weight loss industries; one author holds a patent for a medical device to enhance weight loss.

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