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Curr Opin Cardiol. 2011 Nov;26(6):555-61. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e32834b7fc4.

Reductions in cardiovascular risk after bariatric surgery.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.



Obesity is commonly associated with multiple conditions imparting adverse cardiovascular risk, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance or diabetes. In addition, sleep disordered breathing, inflammation, left ventricular hypertrophy, left atrial enlargement, and subclinical left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction may collectively contribute to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This review will describe improvements in cardiovascular risk factors after bariatric surgery.


All of the cardiovascular risk factors listed above are improved or even resolved after bariatric surgery. Cardiac structure and function also have shown consistent improvement after surgically induced weight loss. The amount of improvement in cardiac risk factors is generally proportional to the amount of weight lost. The degree of weight loss varies with different bariatric procedures. On the basis of the improvement in risk profiles, it has been predicted that progression of atherosclerosis could be slowed and the 10-year risk of cardiac events would decline by ~50% in patients undergoing weight loss surgery. In keeping with these predictions, two studies have demonstrated reductions in 10-year total and cardiovascular mortality of approximately 50% in patients who had bariatric surgery.


These encouraging data support the continued, and perhaps expanded, use of surgical procedures to induce weight loss in severely obese patients.

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