Research Roundup: What We Learned at ObesityWeek 2015 – Part 2

ObesityWeek is an event that brings the leading experts in the field of obesity together to share their innovations and breakthroughs in their work. This educational experience provides an opportunity to ignite numerous conversations and ideas about the disease of obesity, and many discoveries are shared throughout the week-long conference.

We learned quite a bit during our time at the event, and we’ve rounded up some of our most interesting finds from ObesityWeek 2015 to share with you. Here’s what we discovered:

Bariatric surgery is a safe and effective treatment option for those affected by severe obesity, and research presented at ObesityWeek shows that it could be beneficial for more patients — and for even more reasons as well:

Weight-loss Surgery Brings Improvements to Joint Pain, and Makes Walking a lot Easier

In a three-year study that followed patients after bariatric surgery, researchers found that patients saw improvement in joint pain and their walking ability after undergoing the procedure. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), also identified key patient characteristics that can indicate who is most and least likely to see improvement, and this understanding of patients post-surgery could allow healthcare professionals to identify patients who may require additional care and follow-up to improve their results after bariatric surgery.

“Our hope is that these data will help patients and clinicians develop realistic expectations regarding the impact of bariatric surgery on these aspects of their lives,” said lead author Wendy King, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Pitt Public Health.

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Among Other Benefits, Bariatric Surgery Can Also Improve Patients’ Sex Lives

Both men and women are seeing lasting improvements in their sex lives after bariatric surgery, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study consisted of more than 2,000 bariatric surgery patients who answered surveys about their sexual desire, activity, satisfaction and overall physical health in relation to sexual function, and patients were surveyed one month before the surgery, and each year for the first five years after the procedure.

“People generally don’t think of sexual dysfunction as a condition related to obesity, but this study suggests that improvements in sex life are an additional benefit that goes beyond weight-loss and improvement of other obesity-related conditions and diseases, including type 2 diabetes,” said John M. Morton, MD, MPH, president of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and Chief of Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Bariatric Surgery May Be Suitable for People Outside the “Severe Obesity” Category

Bariatric surgery, long considered a treatment largely reserved for people with severe obesity, may also be a good and safe option for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in individuals with excess weight and obesity, according to researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Researchers studied 1,003 patients from North America who had a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 35, and found that bariatric and metabolic surgery had a high degree of safety in patients with lower BMI’s.

“Bariatric surgery is emerging as a safe and effective option for managing type 2 diabetes in patients with mild obesity,” said lead study author Ali Aminian, MD, Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Institute. “We are seeing significant improvement or remission of type 2 diabetes in most lower BMI patients.”

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Healthcare Costs Drop Dramatically after Bariatric Surgery

A study that focused on insurance claims in the United States found that after undergoing bariatric surgery, individuals saw cuts to their healthcare costs by nearly 40 percent after four years, and some even by as much as 80 percent if they were affected by type 2 diabetes prior to having the surgery.

Researchers contributed the drop in healthcare costs to the reduction in fewer hospital admissions and clinic visits, as well as a decrease in the use of prescription drugs needed for obesity-related conditions, such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The researchers said this trend would also continue – with lower costs expected to continue for surgical patients beyond the four years of the study period, and costs for non-surgical patients being expected to increase.

“The findings show treating obesity has important health benefits that translate into real cost savings,” said Robin Blackstone, MD, one of the founding board members of the OAC and Chief of the Section of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at Banner – University Medical Center. “Bariatric surgery saves lives and money, and is one of the best investments patients and their insurers can make.”

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Want to learn more about bariatric surgery? CLICK HERE to learn more on the OAC’s Web site about your obesity treatment options.

Missed the rest of our research roundup? Visit the links below to read more about what we learned during ObesityWeek 2015:

Part 1: Weight Bias, Stigma and Access to Care

Part 3: Healthy Habits & Behaviors

Part 4: Obesity and Science

One Comment for this Post
  • Chris
    November 28, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Obesity leads to many problems including arthritis.

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