Skip to navigation menu Skip to content
Please click here to read our COVID-19 policies and resources before your visit or appointment. X
Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Weight-Loss Surgery Lowers Long-Term Heart Risks for Diabetic Teens

Weight-Loss Surgery Lowers Long-Term Heart Risks for Diabetic Teens

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-loss surgery significantly reduces the risk of heart problems in obese teens with type 2 diabetes, a new study finds.

Teens who have the surgery can see their long-term risk for heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke and coronary death lowered nearly threefold, compared with obese teens whose diabetes is medically managed, researchers say.

"The mitigation in risk does not seem to be completely activated or ascribed to weight loss, but largely to the remission of diabetes," said lead researcher Dr. Petter Bjornstad, an assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Colorado.

After surgery, patients need to make significant changes in diet and lifestyle, he said.

"So even though we're seeing these great results, I think it's really important to acknowledge that this is a huge commitment, and it's not an easy fix," Bjornstad said.

The surgery itself is relatively safe and in the hands of an experienced surgeon results in few complications, though bleeding and damage to nearby organs is possible, Bjornstad said.

After surgery, patients are closely monitored to make sure they are getting enough nutrients and vitamins. They typically have a short hospital stay, but recovery continues at home for months as patients get used to their new diet and psychological adjustments, he said.

"If you're not prepared for these changes, that can be pretty stressful mentally," Bjornstad said. "That's part of this huge commitment that you need to prepare for before surgery and have really good follow-up after surgery, and that's why we encourage a multidisciplinary approach to try to mitigate these risks."

For the study, Bjornstad's team compared the odds for cardiovascular disease over five years in two groups of teens with type 2 diabetes. One group of 30 had weight-loss surgery; the other 63 teens did not.

While teens who had surgery saw their long-term risk for heart disease fall, those who didn't have surgery saw their risk rise. Researchers used a formula to calculate risk over 30 years.

Bjornstad said that obesity and type 2 diabetes are complex conditions in teens, and genetics and family history can play important roles. Weight-loss surgery is not a cosmetic procedure but one designed to improve health and help people live a long, productive life, he said.

"I think maybe people don't appreciate that -- this surgery is so much more than weight loss," Bjornstad said.

His team attributed the lower risk for heart disease after weight-loss surgery to lower blood sugar levels, lower weight, lower blood pressure and higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

Treatment of obesity is far more complex than eating less and exercising more, according to Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who reviewed the findings.

"It is time for physicians, insurers and the general public to rethink the treatment of obesity and diabetes," he said.

Roslin said teens treated with weight-loss surgery not only have a lifetime reduction in the risk of heart disease, but previous studies have also shown that they do better in school, have improved emotional health and higher incomes when they enter the workforce.

He said many severely obese teens face prejudice, bullying and are then denied the best treatment for their condition.

"We can do better, and barriers for surgical intervention placed by insurers need to be removed," Roslin said.

The findings were published recently in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

More information

To learn more about weight loss surgery, visit the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

SOURCES: Petter Bjornstad, MD, assistant professor, pediatric endocrinology, University of Colorado, Aurora; Mitchell Roslin, MD, chief, obesity surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, Sept. 8, 2020

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Dr. James Bennett
Dr. J. Marc Cardelia
Dr. Peter Moskal
Dr. Cara Novick
Dr. Stephanie Pearce
Dr. Carl St. Remy
Sports Medicine
Dr. Joel Brenner
Dr. Aisha Joyce
Dr. Micah Lamb
Dr. David Smith
Dr. Tracy Alderson
Dr. Rose Cummings
Dr. Alexander Ellis
Dr. Robert Escalera II
Dr. Jonathan Fleenor
Dr. Lopa Hartke
Dr. John Reed
Dr. Elliot Tucker
Dr. Michael Vance
Children's Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Emily Downs
Dr. James Gangemi
Dr. Philip Smith
Dr. Eric Gyuricsko
Dr. Nicole Nejedly
Dr. Melinda Penn
Dr. Kent Reifschneider
Dr. Melissa Russell
Dr. Marta Satin-Smith
Dr. Sarah Chagnon
Dr. Wendy Edlund
Dr. Ralph Northam
Dr. Crystal Proud
Dr. Svinder Toor
Dr. Ryan Williams
Children's Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Emily Downs
Dr. James Gangemi
Dr. Philip Smith
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Dr. James Bennett
Dr. J. Marc Cardelia
Dr. Peter Moskal
Dr. Cara Novick
Dr. Stephanie Pearce
Dr. Carl St. Remy
Dr. Adam Conley
Dr. Joseph Dilustro
Dr. Kimberly Mackey
Plastic and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Prashant Charugundla
Dr. Yifan Guo
Dr. Hannah Hill
Dr. George Hoerr
Dr. Jesus (Jegit) Inciong
Dr. Edward Santee
Health Tips
A Chubby Baby Is Not a Sign of Future Obesity
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Medicines Rising on College Campuses
Lifestyle Changes Can Help Kids Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Avocado Tacos / Tacos de aguacate
Beef or Turkey Stew / Carne de res o de pavo guisada
Caribbean Red Snapper / Pargo rojo caribeño
Rice with Chicken, Spanish Style / Arroz con pollo
Spanish Omelet / Tortilla española
Tropical Fruits Fantasia/ Fantasía de frutas tropicales
Two Cheese Pizza / Pizza de dos quesos
Heart Health Quiz
Heart Quiz for Women Only
Teen Health Quiz
Health Screening Guidelines for Men 18 to 39
Health Screening Guidelines for Women 50 to 64
Health Screening Guidelines for Women 65+
Health Screening Guidelines, Women Ages 18 to 39
Health​ Screening ​Guidelines,​ Ages ​2 ​to ​18
Prevention Guidelines for Women 40 to 49
Diseases & Conditions
Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
Amenorrhea in Teens
Anomalous Coronary Artery in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Breast Conditions in Young Women
Diabetes During Pregnancy
Diet and Diabetes
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Female Growth and Development
Gynecological and Menstrual Conditions
High Blood Pressure in Children and Teens
Home Page - Adolescent Medicine
Home Page - Cardiovascular Disorders
Major Depression in Teens
Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea) in Teens
Menstrual Disorders
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Obesity in Teens
Oral Health
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Overview of Diabetes Mellitus
Pap Test for Adolescents
Pregnancy and Medical Conditions
Pregnancy and Pre-existing Heart Disease
Schizophrenia in Children
Teens and Diabetes Mellitus
The Growing Child- Teenager (13 to 18 Years)
Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Your Child's Asthma

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.