WEDNESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- In addition to weight loss, over the long term, gastric bypass surgery improves biochemical cardiac risk factors, including an 80 percent drop in C-reactive protein, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, held from June 17 to 22 in San Diego.
Nayna Lodhia, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues analyzed changes to 11 cardiac risk factors in 182 patients (mean body mass index, 47 kg/m²; average weight, 286 pounds) who underwent gastric bypass surgery. Statins were discontinued after surgery.
By seven years after surgery, the researchers found that the average body mass index was reduced to 34 kg/m² and the average weight fell to 205 pounds. Patients had improvements in all risk factors, including a 40 percent increase in high-density lipoproteins, a 66 percent decrease in fasting insulin levels, a 55 percent reduction in triglycerides, and an 80 percent decrease in C-reactive protein.
"An 80 percent reduction in the C-reactive protein level is an astounding drop," a coauthor said in a statement. "This is significantly better than what the best medical therapy has been shown to achieve and underscores the inflammatory nature of obesity, which can be reversed with surgical weight loss."
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