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Bariatric surgery reduces cardiovascular risk of obese

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the reason why obese people, and especially those with morbid obesity are or will be sick, should take steps to reduce their weight. And in this sense, according to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Oslo (Finland) and published in the journal “European Journal of Preventive Cardiology”, bariatric surgery not only reduces the weight of obese patients, but also their cardiovascular risk similar to those people with normal weight. However, it is not achieved by adopting healthy habits like exercise or caloric restriction.

Obesity is a global problem associated with the development of cardiovascular disease. And people who are morbidly obese have an increased risk of myocardial infarction, heart failure and diabetes.

One aspect, therefore, to take into account given that around 20% of the population of the European Union are obese, ie have a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg / m2. In addition, up to 2-3% of EU citizens have a BMI of 35 kg / m2 and 40 kg / m2, ie morbidly obese.

A lower weight, reduced risk

The study was conducted with the participation of 74 morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery, morbidly obese 62 following a program of healthy habits – combination of physical exercise and caloric restriction – and 30 control subjects with normal weight.

In order to assess the possible change in the cardiovascular risk associated with each intervention, researchers evaluated levels of cardiac troponin I highly sensitive before and after bariatric surgery and exercise program and diet. Specifically, the cardiac troponin I is a highly sensitive marker that is used to assess cardiovascular risk in people who do not have cardiovascular disease. And the higher is the level of troponin, the greater is the cardiovascular risk of the individual.

At baseline, troponin I levels were 2.40 ng / L in the bariatric surgery group, 2.35 ng / L in the participants’ exercise program and diet, and 0.90 ng / L in control subjects.

12 months after the intervention, patients underwent bariatric surgery had not only lost 30% of their body weight, but their levels of troponin I were reduced to 1.30 ng / L-therefore, very close to the observed in control subjects, 0.90 ng / L.

12 months after surgery, troponin I levels were similar in the group that underwent bariatric surgery and in control subjects. This results in fewer heart attacks, heart failure and cardiovascular deaths, one might assume that, once submitted to the intervention, the morbidly obese have a comparable cardiovascular risk of people with normal weight.

Reduced effectiveness with diet and exercise

On the contrary, the program of healthy habits is associated with a reduction of 8% of body weight but just managed to modify the levels of troponin I of the participants – of 2.35 ng / L initial switched to 2.15 ng / L.

The results confirm that bariatric surgery is superior for changing lifestyles in terms of benefits for cardiovascular health. A superiority which could be explained by the greater weight loss is achieved with bariatric surgery. And while adopting healthy habits involves a transient weight loss, long-term impact is not as great as the surgery.