(HealthDay News) — For patients with type 2 diabetes, remission after bariatric surgery is associated with a reduced risk of microvascular disease, even after subsequent relapse, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Karen J. Coleman, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational cohort study involving 4,683 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery from 2001 through 2011. The correlation between type 2 diabetes remission/relapse status and the time to microvascular disease was assessed.

The researchers found that, compared with patients who never remitted, patients who experienced type 2 diabetes remission had a lower risk of incident microvascular disease (hazard ratio, 0.71). For patients who experienced a relapse after remission there was an inverse relationship between the length of time spent in remission and the risk of incident microvascular disease; the risk of microvascular disease was reduced for every additional year of time spent in remission prior to relapse (hazard ratio, 0.81), compared with patients who never remitted.

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“Our results indicate that remission of type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery confers benefits for risk of incident microvascular disease even if patients eventually experience a relapse of their type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

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1. Coleman KJ, Haneuse S, Johnson E, et al. Long-Term Microvascular Disease Outcomes in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes After Bariatric Surgery: Evidence for the Legacy Effect of Surgery. Diabetes Care 2016 Jun; dc160194. doi:10.2337/dc16-0194.