Use obesity surgery more often for diabetes, guidelines urge

WASHINGTON (AP) — International diabetes organizations are calling for weight-loss surgery to become a more routine treatment option for diabetes, even for some patients who are only mildly obese.

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are a deadly pair, and numerous studies show stomach-shrinking operations can dramatically improve diabetes.

But Tuesday’s guidelines mark the first time the surgery is recommended specifically as a diabetes treatment rather than as obesity treatment with a side benefit. They expand the number of eligible candidates.

The recommendations were endorsed by the American Diabetes Association, the International Diabetes Federation and 43 other health groups, and published in the journal Diabetes Care. Insurance covers some bariatric surgery already, but it’s not clear yet if coverage would be expanded to match the guidelines.

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