More diabetes patients 'should be offered surgery'

26 May 2016 09:16

Weight loss has traditionally been seen as vital to fighting diabetes

Weight loss has traditionally been seen as vital to fighting diabetes

Weight-loss surgery should be recognised as a normal procedure in the war against type-2 diabetes, international experts are claiming.

A partnership of diabetes groups claims that nearly 100,000 British people suffering from the condition should eventually be offered weight-loss operations each year.

These typically cost the NHS from £5,000 to £6,000 and the coalition says this method is cost-effective.

The group's guidelines come after new research which shows that nearly half of type-2 diabetes sufferers enjoy remission lasting upwards of five years after undergoing the surgery.

The American Diabetes Association, Diabetes UK and other partnership members want Britain to match the number of weight-loss operations in other European nations.

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What the experts say

Francesco Rubino, who co-authored the new guidelines, believes that weight-loss operations are the nearest thing to cures available to type-2 diabetes patients.

Prof Rubino, from King's College London, says such operations are preferable to weight-loss attempts when it comes to managing diabetes.

The new guidelines call for anyone with a body mass index (BMI) exceeding 39 to be given the option of surgery.

Another co-author Professor Sir George Alberti calls the diabetes problem a "pandemic".

He says Britain lags behind countries across the world in giving patients surgery as an option.

Key stats

• There are 422 million-plus people suffering with diabetes around the world

• 3.5 million Britons have diabetes, although one in seven of these are unaware of it. Such ignorance can result in heart attacks, amputations, strokes, kidney failure, and nerve and eye damage

• Obesity was the primary or secondary reason behind 440,288 English hospital admissions during 2014/15

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