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Weight loss surgery for diabetes beats lifestyle and medication, study finds

Diabetes remission occurred in 60% of adults who had gastric bypass surgery compared with 6% of patients who received a lifestyle and medical intervention according to the CROSSROADS study published in Diabetologia online on March 17th 2016. This study analysed a cohort of 32 patients with type 2 diabetes and mild to moderate obesity, and also found those in the surgical group reduced their mean A1C from 7.7% to 6.4% and lost more weight and used fewer diabetes medications at 12 months than those in the lifestyle/intervention group. Surgery is certainly an effective means of improving diabetes, however long-term side-effects, such as malabsorption or surgical complications are unclear.

The results are promising but it must be noted that follow-up was only for 1 year and this was a very small study including a select group of patients. Results may not be generalisable to everyone in the community but gastric bypass is a potential option to consider in the treatment options for type 2 diabetes and obesity.

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