Harvard Health Letter

Bariatric surgery reduces type 2 diabetes risk in obese individuals

Bariatric surgery, an operation on the stomach restricting food intake in order to help obese people lose weight, may significantly reduce a person's odds of developing type 2 diabetes. A study published in the Aug. 23, 2012, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that bariatric surgery reduced the long-term incidence of type 2 diabetes by 78% in obese individuals. None of the people involved had diabetes at the beginning of the study. They were followed for an average of 10 years. Bariatric surgery is usually an option for obese people who have been unable to lose weight through other means. There is no established upper age limit on bariatric surgery, but candidates are carefully screened to help make sure they will have successful outcomes.

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