New Link Found Between Weight Loss Surgery and Strokes -9657

January 9th, 2012
New Link Found Between Weight Loss Surgery and Strokes -9657

Research by Swedish scientists has found that obese people who are prepared to undergo stomach surgery in order to lose weight are at less risk of having a stroke. It may also lower the risk of a heart attack.

Researchers observed and followed 4,047 obese men and women for about 15 years. They were divided into 2 groups – those offered weight loss surgery such as bariatric surgery and a second group who were not offered this or refused it.

Scientists discovered that the first group were 33% less likely to have either a heart attack or stroke than the other group. They also suggest that 53% were less likely to die from either of the 2 conditions.

Speaking with reporters, one of the lead members of the research team, Lars Sjöström said: “The benefit is similar at [both] smaller and larger subsequent weight losses.”

Interestingly, the researchers found that the amount of weight lost did not have any influence. One probable reason for this is the numbers participating in the study is not very large and as such, data collected may not be reliable. Further, according to Edward H. Livingston, chairman of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Texas: “Not everybody who has obesity has the same health risk.” For example, it appears none of the participants had a history of diabetes, a disorder known to increase risk of a stroke.

Having bariatric surgery is not always necessarily the right thing to get done, especially for young people. Dr. Livingston added: “People who understand bariatric surgery are individuals who are more motivated to address their health issues.

The people who didn’t pursue bariatric surgery are probably less likely to take care of themselves, or willing to take care of themselves, so the two groups of people are fundamentally different. I think it’s that difference that accounts for the better outcome.”


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