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Dec 23, 2015 05:44 AM EST

Bariatric Surgery lowers risk of heart attack and type 2 diabetes

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A new study has revealed that bariatric surgery cuts the risk of heart attack and type 2 diabetes, Science World Report reports.

The study is published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Researchers found that participants who underwent bariatric surgery were 70 percent less likely to suffer from a heart attack and nine times more likely to show improvements in type 2 diabetes, as compared to those who did not have weight-loss surgery.

"Obesity is one of the biggest health problems of our generation. Rates of cardiovascular disease, although slowly declining, are still alarmingly high while Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, affecting 3.5 million people in Britain. Finding effective ways to tackle the obesity crisis is therefore a key public health strategy," said lead study author Dr Ian Douglas the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in a news release.

"Whilst effective prevention is clearly needed, our findings show that as well as helping patients substantially lose weight, bariatric surgery improves serious obesity-related illnesses as well as reducing the risk of developing them."

According to Healthday, the researchers calculated that if the 1.4 million obese people in the UK had weight-loss surgery, there would be 80,000 fewer cases of high blood pressure, 40,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes, and 5,000 fewer heart attacks over four years.

For the study, the researchers reviewed the medical records of around four years of than 3,800 obese individuals, whose mean age was 45 years, who had received weight-loss surgery.

"Unfortunately, less than 1 percent of the patients who could benefit from this surgery currently receive surgery," concluded co-study author Rachel Batterham, according to NorthernCalifornia.com.

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