In a recent study published in The Lancet, weight loss surgery shows remarkable outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes 10 years on from surgery.
The study reports the 10-year follow up of a randomised clinical trial, which shows that the benefits of weight loss (bariatric) surgery hold very well in the long term with a clear and statistically significant difference in the incidence of diabetes-related complications.
Despite that all patients in the study had a long history of relatively severe diabetes and poorly controlled glycemia, with 50% having required insulin, over one third of surgically-treated patients (37.5%) had persistent remission throughout the entire 10-year study period. Even in patients who experienced a relapse of diabetes symptoms after an initial 2-year remission (roughly 50% of those patients), the study found they still maintained an excellent control of glycemia.
Weight loss surgery patients had lower cardiovascular risk and better quality of life, and they used minimal or no medication – including diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia meds – over the 10-year period.
These findings are remarkable and perhaps the best documented evidence to date that type 2 diabetes can be “curable”, even when the disease is neither mild nor of recent onset.
Although there has been a general reluctance to label weight loss surgery a “cure”, we now have evidence from the most rigorous type of clinical investigation that surgery can indeed achieve a cure of type 2 diabetes in many patients.
We now have 10-year data showing greater efficacy of metabolic surgery than conventional medical therapy. …Moreover, during the past 12 years, 12 other randomised controlled trials have shown consistent findings, thus providing confidence in the robustness of the data.