Increasing prevalence of obesity is related to increasing diabetes incidence. In western societies, diabetes affects about 2% of the general population, with a significant increase expected within the next years.
Population affected by diabetes:
Worldwide Europe Greece
1985: 30.000.000 2000: 33.300.000 2002: 700.000
1995: 150.000.000 2030: (prediction) 48.000.000 2009: 1.000.000
2025: (prediction) 380.000.000
Source: International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Health Organization, Hellenic Diabetes Association.
Type II diabetes accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases and has been associated with dietary habits and obesity. Notably, over 75% of people affected by type II diabetes are also obese. Therefore, there is a strong association between obesity and type II diabetes. An obese individual is at a considerably higher risk of developing type II diabetes. When the BMI is higher than 30, the risk of developing type II diabetes becomes approximately 8 to 10 times higher in men and women, respectively. Inversely, treatment of obesity improves, or even abolishes an individual’s diabetic condition.
Consequently, every bariatric operation also improves diabetes, through the reduction of obesity. Some procedures have a direct effect on diabetes, resulting also in the cure of non-obese diabetic individuals. The latter concerns mainly the gastric bypass procedure and, according to recent studies, sleeve gastrectomy procedure, as well. As a result, in the recent years, medical community has considered performing those procedures even to non-overweight diabetic patients with a BMI 25 to 30. In the USA, surgical treatment of diabetes has recently been approved as a valid method to treat diabetes in obese, as well in non-obese patients. This advancement opens up a new way of radical therapy for hundreds of thousands of diabetic patients in our country, who would no longer need daily pharmaceutical treatment.
The most valid results relevant to the reduction of diabetes incidence after surgical treatment of obesity surgical have been provided by the SOS (Swedish Obese Subject) Swedish study, performed on 2000 patients and with a duration of a decade. This study compared results between two groups of obese individuals, treated either by conventional means or by surgical operation. Within the first two years, incidence of type II diabetes was 32 times lower in the group of patients treated with surgical operation relative to the conventionally treated group. Today, bariatric surgery is an effective therapy against type II diabetes, provided that an adequate procedure is selected and performed in a center specialized for morbid obesity.