Lead author Dr. Yessica Ramos of the Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale and co-investigators studied the medical records of 72 obese patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass operation from 2000 to 2007 and had at least three years of follow-up visits.
The study found, of these patients, 92 percent had a reversal of their diabetes at some point. However, within three to five years after the surgery, 21 percent of the patients experienced a recurrence of their type 2 diabetes -- documented by bloodwork or restarting use of diabetes medications.
The patients who did not have recurrence of diabetes lost more weight initially and maintained a lower mean weight throughout the five years of follow-up, although both groups regained similar amounts of weight, Ramos said.
There was no significant association between higher recurrence rate and body mass index before surgery, the authors found.
"The recurrence rate was mainly influenced by a longstanding history of type 2 diabetes before the surgery," Ramos said in a statement. "This suggests that early surgical intervention in the obese, diabetic population will improve the durability of remission of type 2 diabetes."
The findings were presented at The Endocrine Society's 94th annual meeting in Houston.
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