Bariatric surgery effective for diabetes

March 29, 2011 at 10:34 PM

NEW YORK, March 29 (UPI) -- Bariatric surgery -- weight loss through surgery -- is cost effective for managing type 2 diabetes in the moderately and severely obese, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Francesco Rubino, director of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, says an estimated 285 million people worldwide suffer from type 2 diabetes, and that number is expected to double by 2030.

An analysis presented at the 2nd World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes, hosted by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College, says bariatric surgery to treat type 2 diabetes is very cost effective in the United States, Britain, Australia and in some European settings.

Catherine Keating, a senior research fellow from the Health Economics Unit at Deakin University in Melbourne, says the analysis found several studies have determined that bariatric surgery -- estimated to cost between $15,000 and $24,000 in the United States -- was not only cost effective, but cost saving.

"For this patient group bariatric surgery generates both cost savings and health benefits," Keating says in a statement. "This provides the strongest rationale yet for implementation of this treatment on economic grounds."

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