Gastric Banding Reverses Impact of Type 2 Diabetes

A new world-first study by Monash University researchers has found gastric banding surgery has a profound impact on one of society’s biggest health issues – diabetes.

The study, published today in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found obese patients with Type 2 diabetes who underwent gastric banding were five times more likely to have their diabetes go into long term remission, compared with patients who engaged in conventional weight loss therapies, such as a controlled calorie diet and exercise.

The four-year study, which was led by Drs John Dixon and Paul O’Brien from Monash University’s Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE), monitored 60 volunteers for two years who underwent significant weight loss of more than 10 per cent of their body weight.

Dr Dixon said of those who underwent gastric banding surgery, 73 per cent achieved remission for Type 2 diabetes, compared to just 13 percent of the people who underwent conventional therapy.

“Our study presents strong evidence that obese patients with a Body Mass Index greater than 30 with Type 2 diabetes need to lose a significant amount of weight to improve their overall health and glycemic management,” Dr Dixon said.

“Our study shows that gastric banding surgery can assist those patients to achieve this – and with sustained results.”

Professor O’Brien said obesity and Type 2 diabetes were strongly linked and combine to present one of the greatest public health problems facing our community.

“We found that the amount of weight loss was a key determinant of effectiveness. Most of those losing ten per cent of their total weight had remission of the diabetes. Few who lost less did so.”

Dr Dixon said the study also found patients who lost substantial weight could not only dramatically reduce their diabetes medications, but also those for controlling blood pressure and lowering blood fats.

“We found that after two years, the surgical group when compared to the conventional therapy group displayed a four times greater reduction in glycated haemoglobin, which can be an indicator of poorly controlled diabetes,” Dr Dixon said.

Gastric banding is a medical procedure where a band is placed around a patient’s stomach to reduce appetite and food intake. For more information on the study, visit the CORE website: http://www.core.monash.org/.

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