Despite similar weight loss, teens who had gastric bypass surgery were significantly more likely to have remission of both type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, compared to adults who had the same procedure. Results are from an NIH-funded study comparing outcomes in the two groups five years after surgery. Previously, no treatment has shown longer-term effectiveness at reversing type 2 diabetes in youth, which tends to advance more quickly than in adults.
Researchers evaluated 161 teens and 396 adults who underwent this surgery at clinical centers participating in Teen-LABS (Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery) and its adult counterpart, LABS. Teens in the study were under 19 years old at the time of surgery, and adults in the study reported having obesity by age 18. Teen-LABS clinical centers had specialized experience in the surgical evaluation and management of young people with severe obesity, and both studies were funded primarily by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine (link is external).
“Obesity increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and these conditions can be more difficult to manage in young people,” said Mary Evans, Ph.D., a study author and program director in the NIDDK Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. “We found earlier bariatric surgery in carefully selected youth may have greater benefits compared to waiting until later in life.”