Metabolic Surgery Reduces the Risk of Recurrent and Fatal Heart Attacks

The findings of a new study show that patients with a history of coronary artery disease who undergo metabolic surgery are approximately two times less likely to suffer a recurrent and fatal heart attack or develop systolic heart failure. The study was presented at the 36th American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek 2019.

To conduct this study, the researchers assessed cardiovascular outcomes among approximately 8,200 metabolic surgery patients and compared them to the outcomes of more than 79,000 nonsurgical patients with a history of heart disease and severe obesity. Almost half of the metabolic surgery patients had a history of diabetes, more than 70% had hypertension, while the nonsurgical patients exhibited higher instances of both diseases.

Encouraging Results

According to the findings, patients who did have either metabolic or bariatric surgery were 1.87 times more likely to develop systolic heart failure when juxtaposed to those who underwent the surgery. Moreover, the results indicate that metabolic surgery protects against dying from recurrent myocardial infarction.

“Our findings suggest for the first time, that bariatric surgery can prevent the development of systolic heart failure and remarkably reduce death from recurrent myocardial infarction or heart attack in patients with a higher cardiovascular risk than the average population,” said study author David Funes, MD, research fellow at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Weston, Florida in a press release.

“Metabolic surgery has been proven to have significant cardiovascular benefits and needs to be considered as part of the treatment plan for patients with severe obesity and coronary artery disease,” said Eric J. DeMaria, MD, President, ASMBS and Professor and Chief, Division of General/Bariatric Surgery, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University Greenville, NC, who was not involved in the study. “The key is to treat obesity sooner rather than later to slow the progression of heart disease, reduce other risk factors including hypertension and diabetes, and preserve heart function.”