Ben-Gurion University researchers improve diabetes remission predictors in bariatric surgery

December 10, 2018

NEW YORK...December 10, 2018 - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have improved a standard bariatric surgery clinical scoring system (DiaRem) to extend the prediction time for diabetic remission following bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.

The DiaRem score, which includes a patient's age, body mass index (BMI), diabetes indicators, and treatments, is used to predict the probability of remission of type 2 diabetes after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery.

In the study published in Obesity Surgery, the researchers improved the DiaRem scoring system to include additional indicators, which extended the prediction time for diabetes remission from one to five years and included three types of bariatric procedures instead of just the standard bypass surgery.

"We know weight-loss surgery has the potential to put diabetes in remission," says Dr. Rachel Golan, a lecturer in the BGU School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences. "The previous DiaRem model was limited to projecting outcomes for only one year after only one type of procedure. Our 'Advanced-DiaRem' was able to predict the longer-term probability of achieving remission from diabetes out to five years following three different surgical procedures."

In the study, the researchers used a computerized database of nearly 1,500 patients with type 2 diabetes and a BMI of more than 30 who had RYGB, sleeve gastrectomy or gastric banding surgery to determine their diabetic remission status after two and five years. Using this data, they were able to develop an Advanced-DiaRem.

This breakthrough could impact public health debates as obesity rates, which are considered the most prevalent preventable risk factor for morbidity and mortality in Western countries, continue to soar to epidemic levels.

According to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.

"The ability to predict an individual's reaction to weight loss surgery gives both doctors and patients the clarity they need to make informed medical decisions," says Dr. Golan.

"More importantly, it will enable health care officials to address a public health crisis that is one of the major contributors to the spiraling cost of health care, and direct resources where they can be most effective."
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In addition to Dr. Golan, researchers in the study include Prof. Assaf Rudich, of the BGU Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, and lead author Dr. Dror Dicker, president of the Israeli Society for Research and Treatment of Obesity.

This study was supported in part by grants from the Ministry of Science, Technology & Space (Israeli-French collaboration) and by The Ministe're de L'Education National de l'Enseignement Sup'erieur et de la Recherche, France (Maimonide "Franco-Israeli project").

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit vision.aabgu.org to learn more.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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