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Study: Bariatric Surgery Reduces the Risk of Heart Attacks and Death in Obese and OSA Patients

Bariatric Surgery

In patients with moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss or metabolic surgery, was linked to a 42% lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), such as atrial fibrillation, stroke, heart failure and heart attack. These results were presented today at the 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Researchers also found that people who have metabolic surgery reduce their risk of dying by about 40%.

Around 70% of adults with OSA also have obesity, making it a serious sleep disease that affects almost 1 billion people globally. Obesity can lead to extra fat deposition at the upper airway, which can constrict the airways and make it difficult to breathe as you sleep. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the standard of care, although the therapy simply treats symptoms, is not curative, and does not lower the risk of MACE or mortality, which is highly prevalent in individuals with OSA.

Aminian, MD, Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, and Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, were the study’s primary authors. “No other therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of dying or developing heart attack or heart failure in patients with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea,” they said. In order to help individuals with sleep apnea live longer and healthier lives, bariatric surgery is a very effective therapy.

970 participants underwent gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy in the cohort analysis of 13,657 Cleveland Clinic patients with a diagnosis of obesity and moderate to severe OSA between 2004 and 2018, while 12,687 matched patients received CPAP or standard non-surgical treatment.

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