Bariatric Surgery vs. Medical Therapy for Diabetes and Obesity

Schauer PR, Bhatt DL, Kirwan JP, et al. Bariatric Surgery versus Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes–5-Year Outcomes.N Engl J Med. 2017;376(7):641–651.

Full-text for Emory users.

“At 5 years, the criterion for the primary end point was met by 2 of 38 patients
(5%) who received medical therapy alone, as compared with 14 of 49 patients (29%) who underwent gastric bypass (unadjusted P=0.01, adjusted P=0.03, P=0.08 in the intention to-treat analysis) and 11 of 47 patients (23%) who underwent sleeve gastrectomy (unadjusted P=0.03, adjusted P=0.07, P=0.17 in the intention-to-treat analysis). Patients who underwent surgical procedures had a greater mean percentage reduction from baseline in glycated hemoglobin level than did patients who received medical therapy alone (2.1% vs. 0.3%, P=0.003). At 5 years, changes from baseline observed in the gastric-bypass and sleeve-gastrectomy groups were superior to the changes seen in the medical-therapy group with respect to body weight (−23%, −19%, and −5% in the gastric-bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and medical-therapy groups, respectively), triglyceride level (−40%, −29%, and −8%), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level (32%, 30%, and 7%), use of insulin (−35%, −34%, and −13%), and quality-of-life measures (general health score increases of 17, 16, and 0.3; scores on the RAND 36-Item Health Survey ranged from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better health) (P<0.05 for all comparisons).”

See also:

Schauer PR, Bhatt DL, Kirwan JP, et al. Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy for diabetes–3-year outcomes. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(21):2002–2013.

Schauer PR, Kashyap SR, Wolski K, et al. Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy in obese patients with diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2012;366(17):1567–1576.


Courcoulas AP, Belle SH, Neiberg RH, et al. Three-Year Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery vs Lifestyle Intervention for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Treatment: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Surg. 2015;150(10):931–940.

Full-text for Emory users.

Results: Body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) was less than 35 for 26 participants (43%), 50 (82%) were women, and 13 (21%) were African American. Mean (SD) values were 100.5 (13.7) kg for weight, 47.3 (6.6) years for age, 7.8% (1.9%) for hemoglobin A1c level, and 171.3 (72.5) mg/dL for fasting plasma glucose level. Partial or complete T2DM remission was achieved by 40% (n = 8) of RYGB, 29% (n = 6) of LAGB, and no intensive lifestyle weight loss intervention participants (P = .004). The use of diabetes medications was reduced more in the surgical groups than the lifestyle intervention-alone group, with 65% of RYGB, 33% of LAGB, and none of the intensive lifestyle weight loss intervention participants going from using insulin or oral medication at baseline to no medication at year 3 (P < .001). Mean (SE) reductions in percentage of body weight at 3 years were the greatest after RYGB at 25.0% (2.0%), followed by LAGB at 15.0% (2.0%) and lifestyle treatment at 5.7% (2.4%) (P < .01).


More PubMed results on the impact of bariatric surgery on diabetes.

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