Bariatric surgery may be cost-effective weight loss strategy for individuals with type 2 diabetes

Obesity is one of the most common contributing factors to type 2 diabetes, a condition that can result in tremendous healthcare costs for those who have it. However, a new study has found that obese individuals who have developed diabetes may be able to reduce the costs associated with the condition by pursuing bariatric weight loss surgery.

For the study, which was published in the journal Obesity, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis examined medical records of obese diabetics. Half of the group received bariatric surgery, while the other continued pursuing traditional treatment strategies.

Three months into the study, only 43 percent of those who received surgery were still using insulin, compared to 84 percent in the group that did not opt for surgery. Six months into the study, 28 percent of patients in the surgery group received a diabetes diagnosis, compared to 74 percent of patients in the non-surgery group.

"Weight loss is an important therapeutic goal in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, because even moderate weight loss - 5 percent - improves hepatic insulin sensitivity and reduces glucose production by the liver," says Samuel Klein, who led the study. "Bariatric surgery is the most effective available weight-loss therapy and has considerable beneficial effects on diabetes."

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