Losing weight through surgery is more effective at holding off diabetes for obese people compared to exercising and dieting alone, a new study says.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center examined the effects of weight-loss surgeries to the health of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

In their study, the team recruited 62 type 2 diabetes patients, between 25 and 55 years old, and asked them to participate in an intensive weight-loss program for an entire year followed by a less intensive one for two more years, or undergo surgery for weight loss.

The two weight-loss surgeries made available to the volunteers were either having an adjustable gastric banding (lap-band) placed to restrict the opening of the stomach, or a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which effectively reduces the size of the stomach.

The researchers discovered that the patients who underwent weight-loss surgery experienced more improvement to their health in terms of type 2 diabetes compared to those who were part of the lifestyle program.

Around 40 percent of patients who had the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and 29 percent of those who had the adjustable gastric banding showed either a complete or partial remission of their diabetes within three years.

Patients who belonged to the nonsurgical group, on the other hand, showed no remission of their diabetes, according to the researchers.

The findings of the study also showed that patients who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery lost 25 percent of their starting body weight in three years, while those who had the adjustable gastric banding lost 15 percent.

Patients who belonged to the nonsurgical group only lost less than six percent of their original weight after three years.

Dr. Anita Courcoulas, a surgery professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and lead author of the study, said the results show surgical treatments as a viable option for durable and long-term control of type 2 diabetes for obese people.

She said the study proves that surgical treatments are more effective at helping people treat type 2 diabetes in three years than lifestyle modification alone.

While the expenses for undergoing weight-loss surgery vary, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) said the procedure costs an average of $20,000 to $25,000. Insurance coverage of weight-loss surgeries depends on the policy of the insurance company.

The study is published in the journal JAMA Surgery.

Photo: Tony Alter | Flickr 

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.