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Gastric bypass surgery can help improve ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol: Study

April 18, 2017

Within six months, patients showed nearly a 20 percent decline in total cholesterol levels (220 to 179 mg/dL), a more than 40 percent decline in triglyceride levels (212 to 128 mg/dL) and a more than 20 percent decline in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (135 to 106 mg/dL). These levels remained virtually unchanged for six years, the duration of the study. However, by year six, HDL (good) cholesterol levels had increased by more than 10 percent (51 to 57 mg/dL) and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL went from 4.3 to 2.8. A lower ratio indicates a lower risk for coronary artery disease.

According to the American Heart Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, desirable lipid levels are below 200 mg/dL for total cholesterol, about 100 mg/dL for LDL cholesterol and less than 150 mg/dL for triglycerides. An HDL cholesterol level of 60 mg/dL and above is considered protective against heart disease.

Dr. Jamal added that more research is required to determine if factors other than weight loss, including possible hormonal changes, contribute to the resolution of hyperlipidemia.

People who are morbidly obese are generally 100 or more pounds overweight, have a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 or more with an obesity-related disease, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea. According to the ASMBS, more than 15 million Americans are considered morbidly obese and in 2009 an estimated 220,000 people had some form of bariatric surgery. The most common methods of bariatric surgery are laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.

SOURCE American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery