Gastric Bypass Surgery with Severely
Obese patients helped Lower Blood Pressure
March 21st, 2006
A new study from
the University of Pittsburgh found that exceedingly obese patients that
undergo gastric bypass bariatric surgery often have a long-term benefit
of lowered blood pressure and some patients no longer need to take
hypertensive medications. This study was first published in the March
issue of the Archives of Surgery.
The reason for the
correction in blood pressure is that after the stomach is reduced in
size the patients lose a large amount of weight. This improves the
patients overall health. There are approximately two-thirds of the
excessively obese patients that have high blood pressure.
suggest that the blood pressure status of patients prior to gastric
bypass surgery may give us good and realistic indicators of those
patients who are likely to experience substantial improvements in blood
pressure after surgery over the long term and who may, as a result,
avoid cardiovascular disease or stroke," said Dr. John Fernstrom, Ph.D.
who is a professor of psychiatry, pharmacology and neuroscience at the
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and research director of the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Weight Management Center.
"Our data also indicate that following surgery, certain patients may no
longer need the medications they were taking to control their blood
pressure prior to surgery.Ē
with fellow researchers looked at data of 347 patients that underwent
the gastric bypass surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical
Center from 1992 through 2001. The 347 patients had a Body Mass Index
(BMI) greater than 40 which is considered excessively obese.
after the gastric bypass surgery was performed most of the obese
patients settled in around 35 BMI which is still obese. The BMI goal
for a healthy weight is 25 BMI or less. Overweight BMI is from 25 -
29.9. Obese BMI starts at 30 and goes up from there. You can calculate
your BMI rating at a number of websites, but here is one from the
National Institutes of Health.
In this study
there were approximately one-half of the 347 patients that were
categorized as having hypertension before undergoing gastric bypass
surgery. Some of these patients that had hypertension were not taking
medication while others were being treated with drugs. The patients
that did not take medication had significantly lowered blood pressure
after 18 months following the surgery. Approximately one-third of
patients taking medication were able to either stop taking the blood
pressure lowering drugs or were able to lower the dosage. The patients
that did not have high blood pressure didnít see any significant changes
in blood pressure.
severely overweight patients with elevated blood pressure, or under
treatment for elevated blood pressure, bariatric surgery offers the
promise of improved health, with not only substantial and sustained
weight loss, but also the added benefit of significant blood pressure
improvements," said the studies co-author Anita Courcoulas, M.D. who is
an associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School
of Medicine and director of the Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General
Surgery program at UPMC.
believe it is the weight loss that has caused the changes in blood
pressure. Gastric bypass surgery should be a last resort. Diet and
exercise should be addressed as weight loss is the key to a healthier
body. It is important to consult your doctor before undergoing any new
exercise or diet routines.