After three years, teens with severe obesity who underwent stomach reduction surgery to lose weight also significantly improved their heart health.
A study published Monday in Pediatrics shows that blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation and insulin levels all improved, particularly among those who lost the most weight.
“The potential impact of such risk reduction translates into a reduced likelihood of developing significant heart disease later in life, including atherosclerosis, heart failure and stroke,” says study author Marc Michalsky, surgical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in an email. “This study serves to reinforce the benefits of bariatric surgery as a safe and effective treatment strategy that should be considered sooner rather than later.”
Younger adolescents in the study showed bigger improvements in their cholesterol and inflammation levels than the older teens. Even participants who had normal-range blood pressure, triglycerides or cholesterol levels before surgery saw improved measures.