AHA Statement on Potential Bariatric Surgery Benefits

HealthDay News reported this week about a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) regarding bariatric (weight loss) surgery. The benefits of bariatric surgery may outweigh the risks for some severely obese people, says the AHA. “Specifically, bariatric surgery can lead to improvements in weight-related health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, liver disease, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular dysfunction.”
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Bariatric surgery aims to reduce a person’s calorie consumption through restricting food intake and/or limiting absorption of food as it passes through the gastro-intestinal tract. The statement-writing committee based their conclusion on scientific literature. They found that surgery can result in long-term weight loss and substantial reductions in cardiac and other risk factors for certain people who are severely obese, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40kg/m-squared, or more.

Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, a renowned bariatric surgeon and co-author of the study, spoke with us about the importance of this statement: “This is the first scientific statement by the American Heart Association (AHA) about the benefits of bariatric surgery on not only heart health, but on overall health and prolonging life in the severely obese. Being an AHA member, and part of this study, has only strengthened my belief that we are helping a lot of patients who suffer from the disease of obesity.”

Additional coverage of this study can be found at ScienceDaily


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