Early weight-loss surgery may improve diabetes and blood pressure outcomes

Washington: Undergoing weight loss surgery in early age can result in better outcomes against type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, compared to adults who had the same procedure, observed researchers.

“Obesity increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and these conditions can be more difficult to manage in young people. We also found earlier bariatric surgery in carefully selected youth may have greater benefits compared to waiting until later in life,” wrote the study author and program director, Mary Evans.

The study was published in the Journal of Medicine.

“Although there are risks associated with bariatric surgery, this study demonstrates that, for many young people, the benefits likely outweigh the risks. Sufficient vitamin and mineral supplementation, along with continued medical care, can help mitigate some of these risks,” said the study’s first author Thomas Inge.

Researchers also found that overall weight loss percentage was not different between the groups. Teens lost 26% of their body weight and adults lost 29% at five years after surgery.

Secondly, researchers discovered that type 2 diabetes declined in both groups, but teens with type 2 diabetes before surgery were 27% more likely than adults to have controlled blood glucose (blood sugar) without the use of diabetes medications.

Lastly, researchers found that, among those with high blood pressure before surgery, teens were 51% more likely than adults to no longer have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication.

“Type 2 diabetes in youth has been a growing problem without a solution, hitting young adults with serious health conditions when they should be in the prime of their lives. This study demonstrates that bariatric surgery may provide effective treatment, though not one without risks. We hope future research continues to shed light on the best timing and the most effective treatments for all people with weight-related conditions,” said one of the researchers, Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers.