Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding 5x More Likely to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes than Diet and Exercise



    TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - A new world-first study by Monash University
researchers in Melbourne, Australia, found laparoscopic adjustable gastric
banding (LAGB) to have a profound impact on one of society's biggest health
issues - Type 2 diabetes.
    This is welcome news for the 2.25 million Canadians with Type 2 diabetes.
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, a person with diabetes is four
times as likely to die at age 35 than a 35-year-old without diabetes. Every 12
minutes, a Canadian life is lost to complications from diabetes and the
insidious condition costs our economy over $400 per second.
    Says Dr. Amish Parikh, endocrinologist at Mississauga's Trillium Health
Centre, "for Type 2 diabetics who are overweight, the best medicine is weight
loss. For many Canadians who have difficulty losing weight, surgical
intervention, like the LAP-BAND system (which was used in the study), can
help. Weight loss in turn will help to improve blood sugar levels."
    The study, published today in Journal of the American Medical Association
(JAMA), found obese patients with Type 2 diabetes who underwent LAGB were five
times more likely to have their diabetes go into long term remission, compared
with patients who engaged in conventional weight loss therapies, such as a
controlled calorie diet and exercise.
    The four-year study, which was led by Drs John Dixon and Paul O'Brien
from Monash University's Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE),
monitored 60 volunteers for two years who underwent significant weight loss of
more than 10 per cent of their body weight.
    Dr. Dixon said of those who underwent gastric banding surgery, 73 per
cent achieved remission for Type 2 diabetes, compared to just 13 percent of
the people who underwent conventional therapy.
    Echoing Dr. Dixon's findings, Dr. Parikh said "thousands of Canadians
have lost considerable weight with the help of laparoscopic adjustable gastric
banding and the procedure is safe, effective and if needed, reversible."
    Professor O'Brien said obesity and Type 2 diabetes were strongly linked
and combine to present one of the greatest public health problems facing our
community.
    "We found that the amount of weight loss was a key determinant of
effectiveness. Most of those losing ten per cent of their total weight had
remission of the diabetes. Few who lost less did so."
    Dr. Dixon said the study also found patients who lost substantial weight
could not only dramatically reduce their diabetes medications, but also those
for controlling blood pressure and lowering blood cholesterol.
    "We found that after two years, the surgical group when compared to the
conventional therapy group displayed a four times greater reduction in
glycated haemoglobin, which can be an indicator of poorly controlled
diabetes," Dr. Dixon said.
    Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is a medical procedure where a
band is placed around a patient's stomach to reduce appetite and food intake.
For more information on the study, visit the CORE website:
http://www.core.monash.org/





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For further information: Melissa Cohen, (416) 803-4370 or Shaleen Sahay,
(647) 802-7668


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