Obese patients with type 2 diabetes, especially those with recent disease onset, should be prioritised for weight-loss surgery, as they may see a reversal in their condition, claim researchers.
They noted that currently most healthcare systems prioritised access to obesity surgery based on body mass index.
“The upfront costs of bariatric surgery seem to be largely offset by prevention of future health-care and drug use”
Their study included 2,010 Swedish adults who underwent obesity surgery and 2,037 matched controls recruited between 1987 and 2001.
The data showed that accumulated drug costs over 15 years did not differ between the surgery and control group in patients without diabetes at the time of surgery, but were lower in surgery patients who had pre-diabetes or diabetes.
However, hospital costs were higher in all patients who had surgery. No differences in outpatient costs were observed.
“To our knowledge, this is the first prospectively controlled study to assess long-term healthcare costs in obesity surgery patients according to their preoperative diabetes status versus matched controls,” said the authors in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
“For obese patients with type 2 diabetes, the upfront costs of bariatric surgery seem to be largely offset by prevention of future health-care and drug use,” they added.