Effect of Bariatric Surgery on Diagnosed Chronic Kidney Disease and Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Insulin-treated Type 2 Diabetes: a Retrospective Cohort Study from a Large UK Primary Care Database


To compare the effect of bariatric surgery on renal, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular (CV) outcomes among obese patients with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes (T2D) with and without microalbuminuria (i.e., uACR > 3.0 mg/mmol).


A retrospective cohort study was conducted among 11,125 active patients with T2D from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database. Propensity score matching (up to 1:6 ratio) was used to identify patients who underwent bariatric surgery (N = 131) with a non-bariatric cohort (N = 579). Follow-up was undertaken for 10 years (6487 person-years) to compare differences in risk of cardiovascular events and in renal outcomes.


For the matched cohort at baseline: mean age 52 ± 13 years (60% female); weight 116 ± 25 kg, body mass index (BMI) 41 ± 9kg/m2, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR); 70.4 ± 20 mL/min/1.73 m2, and median albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR) 2.0 mg/mmol (interquartile range (IQR): 0.9-5.2 mg/mmol). Bariatric surgery was associated with a 54% reduction in developing CKD compared to their matched non-bariatric cohort (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 0.46; 95%CI: 0.24-0.85, P = 0.02). Among patients with microalbuminuria at baseline, bariatric surgery was protective against CKD (aHR: 0.42, 95%CI: 0.18-0.99, P = 0.050). eGFR was significantly increased from baseline favouring the bariatric group during 75% of the follow-up time (calculated mean difference between groups: 4.1 mL/min/1.73 m2; P < 0.05), especially at 5-year point (74.2 vs 67.8 mL/min/1.73 m2; P < 0.001). However, no significant change was observed with non-fatal CVD episodes (aHR: 0.36, 95%CI: 0.11-1.13, P = 0.079). Albumin levels were significantly reduced throughout the 2 years following the surgery (3.9 vs 4.1 g/dL, P < 0.001). uACR and total protein levels had little or no statistical association to the intervention.


Bariatric surgery may protect patients with diabetes with or without microalbuminuria against the risk of CKD and with a modest protective effect on non-fatal CVD risk. Bariatric surgery is also associated with improvements in overall renal outcomes such as eGFR.