Bariatric Surgery Treatment of Patients with Heart Disease and Obesity - My Bariatric Life

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • The most common form of heart disease is coronary heart disease, a narrowing of the arteries that transport blood to the heart. Seven million Americans have coronary heart disease, and of that number 500,000 die each year from heart attacks that are caused by coronary heart disease.

    Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

    Coronary heart disease is caused by a buildup of plaques on the walls of coronary arteries. This buildup is what causes the arteries to narrow. Because of it, blood flow to the heart slows down or stops.

    Causes and Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease

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    Potential causes of coronary heart disease are diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, substance abuse, and obesity.

    Symptoms of coronary heart disease are usually apparent and include a heavy feeling in the chest as if the heart were being squeezed or a shortness of breath during exertion.

    Obesity and Heart Disease

    Obesity and heart disease are strongly correlated.

    Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and the percentage of children and teenagers who are overweight has gone from 4 percent to 15 percent in only a few decades. Ten percent of preschoolers weigh more than is healthy for them, and a concerning number of children are getting obesity related diseases that are normally not seen until adulthood.

    The more overweight someone is, the more likely the possibility of developing heart disease.

    Improved Symptoms of Heart Failure After Bariatric Surgery

    A limited study conducted at the Mayo Clinic found that obese heart failure patients who have had  bariatric surgery gain lasting improvements in symptoms of heart disease as well as the quality of life.

    The study followed the progress of patients who received bariatric surgery with a control group who did not have the procedure. The group that received the surgery had a mean body mass index of 53 compared to 42 for the control group. In a four year follow, it was found that the group who had bariatric surgery had the body mass index drop to 37 while the control group had a rise to 45.

    A Decrease in Heart Attacks After Weight Loss Surgery

    Study results obtained from research at surgery and health departments in Sweden and published in the Journal of the America Medical Association  found that those patients who had weight loss surgery were less likely to have strokes or heart attacks than those who did not have the surgery.

    In a one decade follow up, it was found that 199 people in the study group who had bariatric surgery had a heart attack or stroke. 28 deaths occurred.

    In the same period, 234 people in the group who did not have the surgery suffered a heart attack or stroke. Of this number, 49 died.

    Changes to the Heart After Weight Loss Surgery

    Obese people often exhibit structural changes to the heart. Among them may be excess heart muscle mass in the left ventricle and enlargement of the right ventricle. Both of these are connected to heart failure.

    Following weight loss surgery, echocardiograms have shown a reduction in the left ventricle mass and right ventricle cavity indicating that the heart has returned to a more normal shape and no longer has to work as hard to pump blood.

  • References:

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    EMedTV -accessed 6/6/12
    Healthier You - accessed 6/6/12
    Mayo Clinic - accessed 6/6/12
    PubMed Health - accessed 6/6/12
    USA Today - accessed 6/6/12


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    My Story...
    You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.

Published On: June 15, 2012