Bariatric surgery debate continues

RESEARCHERS in New York are recruiting patients for a clinical trial that will measure the impact of gastric bypass surgery in patients who have type 2 diabetes but are only mildly obese – and in some cases, only slightly overweight. 

Diabetes patients with a BMI as low as 26 will be eligible for the trial. That’s low by any standards, even at a time when debate over broadening the guidelines for bariatric surgery to include more patients is flourishing.

Earlier this year, an editorial published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal argued for reducing the US guidelines to a BMI of 30, in hopes of catching patients at younger ages before the disease progressed (CMAJ 2011, online 26 Jan). 

In March, Diabetes Care ran ‘The Great Debate: Medicine or Surgery’, which analysed the issue in detail, acknowledging that great strides are being made in both areas, and ultimately calling for more randomised control trials