THURSDAY, March 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients with obesity, bariatric surgery is associated with a lower long-term risk for major cardiovascular events and incident heart failure, according to a study published online March 18 in the European Heart Journal.

Osama Moussa, B.M.B.Ch., from Imperial College London, and colleagues examined the long-term effect of bariatric surgery on cardiovascular outcomes of patients with obesity in a cohort of 3,701 patients who had undergone surgery and 3,701 age-, gender-, and body mass index-matched controls. Participants were followed for a median of 11.2 years.

The researchers found that the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events was significantly lower for patients who had undergone bariatric surgery (hazard ratio [HR], 0.410; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.274 to 0.615; P < 0.001). This was mainly due to a decrease in myocardial infarction (HR, 0.412; 95 percent CI, 0.280 to 0.606; P < 0.001), but not in acute ischemic stroke (HR, 0.536; 95 percent CI, 0.164 to 1.748; P = 0.301). There were also significant reductions observed in new diagnoses of heart failure and mortality (HRs, 0.403 [95 percent CI, 0.181 to 0.897; P = 0.026] and 0.254 [95 percent CI, 0.183 to 0.353; P < 0.001]).

“These findings call for increased awareness and increased uptake of bariatric surgery as a treatment step for patients with obesity who do not achieve significant weight loss on lifestyle and pharmacological therapy alone,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This is important, as only a small minority of patients are offered the surgery and, among these, a minority actually undergo it.”

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