New research published in the December 29 issue of the journal Pediatrics, suggests gastric bypass surgery may reverse type 2 diabetes in extremely obese adolescents.
Previous studies on adults with Type 2 diabetes have shown that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass weight-loss surgery can result in better disease control and/or disease remission. This study is the first of its kind to probe the effects of the surgery in adolescents.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common form of weight loss surgery.
For the study, Dr. Thomas Inge, M.D., Ph.D., surgical director of the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, analyzed 11 morbidly obese young adults with Type 2 diabetes that had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and 67 adolescents with type 2 diabetes who were treated medically.
Among the children who underwent gastric bypass surgery, ten of eleven had remission of diabetes. Specifically, the average BMI (body mass index, a measure of obesity) was reduced by 34% and fasting blood glucose and insulin concentrations decreased by 41% and 81%, respectively.
By comparison, adolescents that were medically managed did not experience any weight change at a one year follow up and all were still taking medication for diabetes.
The teens that had surgery also had improved cholesterol levels and blood pressure, both major risk factors for heart disease.
“To our knowledge, the results are quite dramatic. No other anti-diabetic therapies have resulted in more effective and long-term control than seen with gastric bypass surgery,” stated Inge in a news release.
While future studies are needed to track the long-term efficacy of study participants, notes Inge and colleagues, the findings suggest that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is an effective option for the treatment of extremely obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes.
The National Institutes of Health is funding a study that will collect outcomes on 200 adolescents undergoing gastric bypass weight-loss surgery nationwide.
Diabetes is a one of the most common diseases afflicting school-age children that affects about 1 in every 500 people under 20. #