Study Shows Heart Function Improves After Bariatric Surgery

Although many people associate weight loss surgery with outward physical changes, there is much that occurs inside your body in terms of health improvements too. Did you know that weight loss surgery could improve your heart’s function? New research has revealed that in a study, heart function returned to normal after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery but not after lifestyle intervention, such as calorie restriction and exercise.

Obesity is closely tied to the development of cardiovascular disease, and people who are severely obese are at high risk of heart attack, heart failure and diabetes. The new study, published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, looked at whether weight loss by bariatric surgery could reduce levels of something called high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-TnI), which would indicate reduced cardiac stress and chronic subclinical cardiac injury. Researchers compared concentrations of hs-TnI between morbidly obese patients who had RYGB, morbidly obese patients who exercised and restricted their calorie intake, and a control group of 30 people with normal weight.

They found that 12 months later, the surgery group lost 30% of their body weight on average while the lifestyle intervention group lost an average of 8% . Hs-TnI levels decreased significantly in the surgery group, but not in the lifestyle group. Of note, hs-TnI levels in the surgery group were not significantly different from the normal weight group at 12 months. However, in the lifestyle intervention group, hs-TnI levels remained significantly higher than in the control group. The findings suggest that bariatric surgery may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in severely obese people, unlike weight loss through changes in diet and exercise alone.

You can learn more about the benefits of bariatric surgery here, or start your weight loss journey today by scheduling your consultation with Dr. Rachel Moore at 504-400-0721