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Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Drop in Heart Risk Factors
THURSDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Gastric band surgery, and other types of weight-loss operations, can significantly reduce obese people's risk for heart disease and stroke, and also improve the health of the heart itself, researchers report.
These effects are seen in a short period of time, achieving dramatic results more quickly than drugs used for weight control or diabetes, the study authors added. This could mean the difference between life and death, according to the study published online Oct. 17 in the journal Heart.
In conducting the study, Dr. Amanda Vest of the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and colleagues analyzed 73 previous studies on the impact of weight-loss surgery on the heart. The studies they reviewed involved nearly 20,000 people. Three out of four of the participants were women and those examined had an average age of 42 years.
Before weight-loss surgery, 44 percent of the participants had high blood pressure, 24 percent had diabetes and 44 percent had high levels of harmful blood fats, the study authors noted in a journal news release.
In the roughly four and a half years following their weight-loss surgery, the amount of extra weight the patients lost ranged from 16 percent to 87 percent. On average, weight-loss surgery resulted in a 54 percent drop in unwanted pounds, the findings showed.