Losing weight is major concern for two-thirds of all Americans, as they are overweight or obese, and a new study found that for some weight loss surgery can help reverse heart disease. We welcome cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen of The Cleveland Clinic (one of the study's authors) and internist and nutritionist Dr. Melina Jampolis to discuss the findings and whether natural weight loss or having weight loss surgery is better.
According to The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), people who undergo weight loss surgery may have the upper hand in warding off heart attacks, strokes and possibly early death. The rates of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks were reduced by 39 percent in patients who underwent weight-loss surgery, along with a 41 percent decrease in early death.
But should more individuals who are obese consider having surgery to address their weight?
Dr. Nissen explains the study looked at patients who also had diabetes and feels for many of these patient's diet and exercise did not do enough to improve their health and the surgery was very effective in improving their health. He acknowledges that surgery is a major undertaking but says the results suggest the outcome can provide a slew of benefits for these patients.
Dr. Jampolis takes issue with the study's control group and stresses that losing weight through diet and exercise can also have a major impact on a patient's health, including things like blood pressure, cholesterol levels, one's need for insulin and improving blood sugar control.
Dr. Nissen explains the patients in the study had tried to lose weight for many years and had not been unsuccessful until having bariatric surgery. He also says weight loss surgery is not for everyone and says it should not be used for people who are 10 to 30 pounds overweight.
The Doctors stress that people who want to lose weight effectively need to speak to their medical care provider to determine which method might be right for their situation.
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