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Obesity surgery prevents severe chronic kidney disease and kidney failure

March 22, 2018

Patients that underwent weight-loss surgery ran a significantly lower risk of developing severe chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, when compared to conventionally treated patients, according to a study published in International Journal of Obesity.

Obesity is a dangerous condition and goes hand in hand with elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, which in turn may lead to complications such as chronic kidney disease.

Obesity is also an independent risk factor in developing chronic kidney disease. Different obesity treatment strategies include life style interventions, dietary modification, pharmacological and surgical treatment.

Many recent studies of patients with obesity have shown that weight-loss (bariatric) surgery is as for now the most efficient way to achieve and maintain significant long-term weight loss and prevent obesity-related complications such as type 2 diabetes.

In the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study, conducted by Sahlgrenska Academy, over 4000 patients with obesity were followed for more than 20 years. Half of the patients received weight-loss surgery, and the other half were treated with conventional non-surgical methods in the primary health care.

The SOS investigators has published data in the International Journal of Obesity reporting the incidence of advanced chronic kidney disease among patients in the SOS study.

The results demonstrate that the patients that underwent weight-loss surgery ran a significantly lower risk of developing severe chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, when compared to conventionally treated patients.

Patients with evidence of kidney damage (high levels of protein in the urine) at the start of the study benefited most from surgical treatment, indicating that surgery prevents progression of pre-existing kidney injury towards renal failure.

This compliments previous reports from the SOS group which showed that bariatric surgery prevented new-onset kidney injury.

These kidney specific findings add to a large body of evidence from the SOS study which demonstrates that bariatric surgery, reduces mortality, improves type 2 diabetes and prevents cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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Title: Incidence of End-Stage Renal Disease Following Bariatric Surgery in the Swedish Obese Subjects Study; https://www.nature.com/articles/s41366-018-0045-x

University of Gothenburg

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