7 years after bariatric surgery, heart risk lowered

June 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM
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SAN DIEGO, June 20 (UPI) -- Eleven risk factors for heart attack remained greatly reduced among gastric bypass patients seven years after they had the surgery, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Dr. John Morton, associate professor of surgery and director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics at Stanford University, and colleagues analyzed cardiac risk factors shown to increase the likelihood of future heart attacks or coronary artery disease in patients who maintained a loss of about 56 percent of their excess weight.

The patients has gone from about 286 pounds to about 205 pounds after bariatric surgery.

The cardiac markers included lipid and cholesterol levels, metabolic syndrome, homocysteine levels, Framingham Risk Score and C-reactive protein levels, a measure of inflammation.

The patients had a 40 percent increase in high-density lipoproteins, the "good" cholesterol, a 66 percent drop in fasting insulin levels and sharp drops in triglycerides, which were reduced by 55 percent.

High sensitivity C-reactive protein fell by 80 percent and the Framingham Risk Score, a composite predictive tool for future cardiac events, also decreased by nearly 40 percent.

"An 80 percent reduction in the C-reactive protein level is an astounding drop," Morton said in a statement. "This is significantly better than what the best medical therapy has been shown to achieve and underscores the inflammatory nature of obesity, which can be reversed with surgical weight loss."

The findings were presented at the 29th annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

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