WEDNESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with diabetes who undergo bariatric surgery there is a significant long-term improvement in diabetic nephropathy, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, held from June 17 to 22 in San Diego.
To examine whether bariatric surgery would have positive effects on end-organ complications in diabetes, Helen M. Heneghan, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, and colleagues followed 52 patients for five years; the patients had diabetes and had undergone bariatric surgery. The presence of diabetic nephropathy before and after surgery was assessed using the urinary albumin-creatinine ratio.
The researchers found that diabetic nephropathy was present in 35 percent of patients preoperatively. At a mean follow-up of 66 months it had resolved in 55 percent of these patients. Of those with no evidence of diabetic nephropathy before surgery, only 25 percent subsequently developed albuminuria five years later. The five-year remission rate was 22 percent and the five-year improvement rate was 55 percent in this patient sample, with mean reductions of 32.0 mg/dL and 1.2 percent in fasting glucose and glycated hemoglobin, respectively.
"When we started this study, we thought bariatric surgery may just halt the progression of diabetic nephropathy; instead, over half of the patients who had diabetic nephropathy prior to undergoing bariatric surgery experienced remission," Heneghan said in a statement. "This is a remarkable finding that warrants greater consideration of bariatric surgery in this patient population."
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