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Bariatric Surgery Reduces Risk for Major Cardiovascular Complications in Patients with Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Jul 06, 2023
New study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic which found that bariatric surgery may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular complications in patients with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery is proud to share a new study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic which found that bariatric surgery may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular complications in patients with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The findings suggest that bariatric surgery is a safe and effective tool to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in these patients.

Obesity is a major health issue that can lead to a range of health problems, including sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops and starts during sleep due to the narrowing of the airway. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), people with obesity are at higher risk for developing sleep apnea with almost 75% of those with sleep apnea having obesity as an underlying cause. It has been found to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.

The study conducted a retrospective single-center analysis of 13,657 patients seen at Cleveland Clinic from 2004 to 2018 who had a BMI of 35 kg/m2 to 70 kg/m2 and moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, defined as apnea-hypopnea index of 15 or more events per hour as determined by a sleep study. Among the cohort, 970 had bariatric surgery and the rest did not. Baseline covariates were balanced between the surgery group and the control group after overlap weighting. The primary outcome was extended major adverse CV events (MACE), defined as coronary artery events, cerebrovascular events, HF, atrial fibrillation, and mortality. Patients were followed through September 2022.

The results showed that bariatric surgery was associated with significantly lower MACE (hazard ratio 0.63; 95% CI 0.51–0.78; P < .001) compared with non-surgical care among patients with moderate to severe OSA and obesity after adjustment for baseline characteristics including age, sex, BMI category , hypertension , diabetes mellitus , smoking status, dyslipidemia, prior myocardial infarction or stroke, prior coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous coronary intervention, left ventricular ejection fraction <50%, atrial fibrillation/flutter or other arrhythmia.
“These findings demonstrate the need to consider sleep apnea as another health condition when counseling patients with obesity.” said Dr Nick Nicholson from the Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery located in Dallas Texas. “Weight loss surgery is another tool available that is safe and effective and can help patients with sleep apnea live longer and reduce their risk of cardiovascular events. Additionally, when patients can lose large amounts of weight and keep it off, many of their health conditions will improve, including sleep apnea.”

This research adds further evidence that bariatric surgery can be an effective treatment option for those suffering from OSA who are also struggling with obesity-related health conditions such as cardiovascular disease. While CPAP therapy has proven effective in treating OSA symptoms it does not address underlying issues related to weight gain such as metabolic syndrome which can lead to long term health complications if left untreated or unmanaged effectively over time. Bariatric surgery has been shown time again to be an effective treatment option for individuals dealing with morbid obesity related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, stroke, fatty liver disease, and more.

Dr. Nicholson concluded: “We are excited about this new research indicating that bariatric surgery reduces risk for major cardiovascular complications in patients with obesity and sleep apnea. We look forward to continuing our work helping individuals achieve their health goals through evidence-based treatments like bariatric surgery procedures.”

About Nicholson Clinic
One of the most experienced weight loss surgeons in the country – Dr. Nick Nicholson – along with a full staff of surgeons, physician assistants, and other experienced clinicians, help patients reverse obesity with Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Bypass, Duodenal Switch, Gastric Balloon, LAP-BAND removal and Revisions.