Weight-loss surgery may reduce the risk of kidney disease in obese people with diabetes, according to a small study.
The study included 52 patients, mostly female, who were obese and had type 2 diabetes. Nearly 40 percent of the patients had diabetic nephropathy, a form of kidney damage that can require dialysis and lead to kidney failure.
All of the patients underwent bariatric surgery, intended to help people lose weight. Most had a type of bariatric surgery known as gastric bypass, in which the stomach is stapled to make it smaller, and the small intestine is rerouted to the smaller pouch.
Five years after surgery, nearly 60 percent of the patients who’d had diabetic nephropathy no longer had the condition, the researchers said.
They also found that only 25 percent of those who did not have diabetic nephropathy at the time of surgery eventually developed the condition. That’s about 50 percent less than the occurrence rate in people with diabetes who don’t have bariatric surgery.