(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, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, and colleagues followed 52 patients for 5 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% of patients pre-operatively. At a mean follow-up of 66 months, it had resolved in 55% of these patients. Of those with no evidence of diabetic nephropathy before surgery, only 25% subsequently developed albuminuria 5 years later. The 5-year remission rate was 22% and the 5-year improvement rate was 55% in this patient sample, with mean reductions of 32.0 mg/dL and 1.2% in fasting glucose and glycated hemoglobin, respectively.

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“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.”

Abstract No. PL-116
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