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Gastric band may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease

Category: General Wellness

A new study published online in the journal Heart, showed that bariatric surgery, which includes getting a restrictive band placed around the stomach and gastric bypass surgery, may reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol levels, which can be detected with cholesterol testing.

The authors of the research used 73 different studies that were published between 1950 and 2012 that focused on the effects of bariatric surgery on cardiovascular risks, heart failure and structural changes to the heart. The studies focused on nearly 20,000 people, with an average age of 42 years old, 75 percent of whom were women.

The studies showed that 44 percent of the participants had high blood pressure, 24 percent had diabetes and 44 percent had high levels of dyslipidaemia, which is the medical term for high blood cholesterol, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

After the participants received their surgery, they showed an average decrease of 54 percent in excess weight, with reductions that ranged from 16 to 87 percent. The risks for stroke, heart attack and heart failure also improved or got better altogether, with an average 63 percent improvement in blood pressure, 73 percent improvement in diabetes and a 65 percent improvement in harmful blood fats.

The data from the studies also indicated that there was an improvement in the mass of the heart's muscle tissue that comprises the main pumping chamber, known as the ventricular mass, as well as the E/A ratio, which is the amount of blood that heart pumps out in one beat.

"The magnitude of effect on [cardiovascular] risk factors is impressive, and to date no pharmacological therapy for weight management or diabetes has shown a comparable effect over these short time periods" said the authors of the research.

Gastric banding information

According to the FDA, gastric banding surgery is when a silicone band is put around the upper stomach, which makes the stomach smaller and prevents people from overeating. While gastric bands are usually long-term solutions, they are not always permanent, and many people have to get a second surgery in order to reposition or remove the band. Gastric banding is usually for people who have not had any success with non-surgical weight loss measures.

Some of the risks of gastric banding surgery include nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing and stretching of the esophagus.

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