Dec. 05, 2018

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Pre-surgical analysis of a patient's age, body-mass index, diabetes indicators and treatment can predict the outcome of bariatric surgery (also known as gastric bypass surgery or weight loss surgery), a research team including Ben-Gurion University researchers has showed. 

Bariatric surgery has long been considered an effective way to achieve diabetes remission. But not all people with type 2 diabetes who undergo the procedure achieve long-term diabetes remission. Thus, it is critical to develop methods for predicting outcomes that are applicable for clinical practice. DiaRem, a clinical scoring system designed to predict diabetes remission post-Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), is not accurate for all individuals across the entire spectrum of scores. 

Now, in a comprehensive study that was published online in Obesity Surgery, an academic journal for bariatric/metabolic surgeons, BGU's Dr. Rachel Golan and Prof. Assaf Rudich have shown that expanding DiaRem information yields improved doctors ability to predict patients' reaction to bariatric surgery for up to five years. 

“We know that weight-loss surgery has the potential to induce diabetes remission," says Dr. Golan, a lecturer in BGU's Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences.  

“But previously the DiaRem model was limited to the prediction for just one year, after a single-type of procedure. We showed that by using our improved predicting score, the 'Advanced-DiaRem', we were able to predict the long-term probability that the patient undergoing surgery would achieve a remission of their diabetes." 

Dr. Golan and Prof. Assaf Rudich of both the Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, joined Dr. Dror Dicker, President of the Israeli Society for Research and Treatment of Obesity and researchers from Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, the Clalit Health Services and Sorbonne Universités in Paris on the study. 

The breakthrough is likely to play an increasingly prominent role in public health debates as obesity rates, considered the most prevalent preventable risk factor for morbidity and mortality in Western countries, continue to soar at epidemic levels. 

“On the most local level, the ability to predict an individual's reaction to surgery will give both doctors and patients the clarity they need to make informed medical decisions. And at the macro level, it will allow health care officials to address a major public health crisis that is one of the major contributors to the spiraling cost of health care, and direct specific  resources to where they can be most effective in a personalized manner," said Dr. Golan.​