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Weight Loss Surgery Brings Bigger Heart Benefits to Women

Researchers suggest their bodies may respond differently than men after procedure.

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After weight-loss surgery, women may have a lower risk of heart disease than men, a new study suggests.

The study included nearly 2,000 patients whose risk for heart disease was assessed in the decade before their surgery and one year after the procedure.

All patients had a significant reduction in their heart disease risk after weight-loss (bariatric) surgery. But, women had a 41 percent reduced risk while men had a 35.6 percent reduced risk, a roughly 20 percent difference, researchers reported.

The study was to be presented Friday at ObesityWeek, an annual conference hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Society.

“This study shows there is a gender disparity in cardiac outcomes for patients undergoing bariatric surgery,” said lead study author Dr. John Morton, director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, Calif.

“The findings suggest that women may have an enhanced mechanism of response to bariatric surgery, which leads to greater normalization of biochemical cardiac risk factors,” he said in an ASMBS news release.

Dr. Stacy Brethauer is a bariatric surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. She said, “Obesity is a major and modifiable risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.” Brethauer was not involved with the research.

“This study suggests, however, that men and women may respond differently to bariatric surgery when it comes to heart health despite comparable weight loss,

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