Drugs Just as Good as Bariatric Surgery in Fight Against Diabetic Kidney Disease, Shows Recent Study Led by My Best Weight Director/University College Dublin’s Obesity Specialist

Finding announced in new study published in eClinical Medicine, part of THE LANCET Discovery Science

DUBLIN, Nov. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A new study has shown that improvements in drug treatments for diabetes are just as effective as bariatric surgery in fighting diabetic kidney disease.  Until now, bariatric surgery was established as more effective than drug treatments for patients with obesity and diabetes. However, the new study indicates the evidence has changed as the effectiveness of drug treatments has caught up with surgery.

Published this week in eClinical Medicine, part of THE LANCET Discovery Science, the new study was led by Dr. Carel le Roux, Obesity Specialist at University College Dublin and Director at My Best Weight, who thinks the findings are likely to change clinical practice internationally. The study included 100 patients in Brazil and used the drugs Jardiance and Ozempic with proven benefits for diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

“When the drugs for diabetes were used in patients over five years, both surgery and drug treatments were found to be highly and equally effective, providing more choice for doctor and patents,” said Dr. le Roux. “All previous randomised controlled trials of bariatric surgery only focused on improvements in blood sugar and not on the complications of diabetes, which are what matters most to patients and doctors. Previous randomised controlled trials also did not benefit from the new medications now in routine use to treat diabetes.”

Dr. Ricardo Cohen from Oswaldo de Cruz hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil led the research in Brazil.

“This is a potentially disruptive finding because, until now, bariatric surgery substantially outperformed the best medical care on all the relevant clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Cohen. “In the randomised controlled trial in 100 patients, with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and obesity, after five years, bariatric surgery was not better than the new drugs at achieving remission of chronic kidney disease. Surgery was however still better for weight loss, control of blood sugar, and quality of life, with a similar safety profile as the new drugs. This continues to make bariatric surgery a relevant treatment for these patients.”

Worldwide, nearly 500,000 people undergo bariatric surgery annually, the average cost which ranges from US$7,400 to US$33,000 before insurance coverage. The cost of the new drug combinations (Jardiance and Ozempic) can be up to $10,000/year, but both drugs have shown to reduce cardiovascular events by at least 20%. Bariatric surgery and the new drugs were found to be equally safe in the study over five years with no deaths related to either intervention and very low hospitalization rates in both groups.

For an interview with Dr. Le Roux or his academic partners in this study, please contact: 
Stacey Doss, APR 
Details of the study can be found at eClinical Medicine, part of THE LANCET Discovery Science.

SOURCE My Best Weight