PHILADELPHIA - A multi-disciplinary team of Penn researchers, including diabetes, weight loss and bariatric surgery experts, are conducting a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine if bariatric surgery, either gastric bypass or adjustable gastric banding surgery, is more effective than lifestyle modification to reduce weight and ultimately treat Type 2 diabetes.

This study will also test whether people with a lower body mass index (BMI) – a BMI of 30 or greater, compared to the current NIH recommended 35 or greater BMI – may benefit from surgery to treat type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or other significant health problems. With evidence suggesting that weight loss surgery often leads to significant improvement in type 2 diabetes, many experts believe that this BMI recommendation should be lowered for people who are both overweight and have type 2 diabetes.

Additional data from randomized controlled trials, such as this study, are needed to help better understand who the most appropriate candidates for weight loss surgery are.

The Center for Weight and Eating Disorders and Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program at the University of Pennsylvania recently received a Challenge Grant from the NIH as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the nationwide economic stimulus package. This clinical trial will investigate the safety and effectiveness of weight loss surgery for overweight persons with type 2 diabetes. Eligible patients will be randomly assigned to one of 2 types of weight loss surgery, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, or to intensive lifestyle modification. Participants will be closely followed for one year to compare the effects of these treatments on their diabetes status.

People who are interested in learning more about this new study to find out if they qualify can contact Jacque Spitzer, MS, at (215) 746-1281, or email her at jspitzer@mail.med.upenn.edu.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

 

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