Updated 09 November 2016

Bariatric surgery may have more heart benefits for women

A study has shown that there is a gender disparity in cardiac outcomes for patients undergoing bariatric surgery, and that women may benefit more than men.


After weight-loss surgery, women may have a lower risk of heart disease than men, a new study suggests.

Gender disparity

The study included nearly 2,000 patients whose risk for heart disease was assessed in the decade before their surgery and one year after the procedure.

All patients had a significant reduction in their heart disease risk after weight-loss (bariatric) surgery. But, women had a 41 percent reduced risk while men had a 35.6 percent reduced risk, a roughly 20 percent difference, researchers reported.

Read: Is bariatric surgery for you?

The study was to be presented at ObesityWeek, an annual conference hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Society.

"This study shows there is a gender disparity in cardiac outcomes for patients undergoing bariatric surgery," said lead study author Dr John Morton, director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, California.

Modifiable risk factor

"The findings suggest that women may have an enhanced mechanism of response to bariatric surgery, which leads to greater normalisation of biochemical cardiac risk factors," he said in an ASMBS news release.

Read: Pot belly boosts sudden cardiac death risk

Dr Stacy Brethauer is a bariatric surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. She said, "Obesity is a major and modifiable risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women." Brethauer was not involved with the research.

"This study suggests, however, that men and women may respond differently to bariatric surgery when it comes to heart health despite comparable weight loss," she added.

Research presented at meetings is viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Read more:

Bariatric surgery cuts risk of heart disease

White Americans more likely to have bariatric surgery

Curing diabetes via surgery

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