As part of the studies participants were randomised to receive either metformin on its own or rosiglitazone as well as metformin, or receive one of two weight loss surgeries: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
The researchers discovered that severely obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes who were given metformin, combination therapy or lifestyle intervention only lost a moderate amount of weight and saw no improvement in their cardiovascular risk factors. Those who had undergone the surgery lost significant amounts of weight, experienced better blood sugar levels and had improved cardiovascular health and kidney function.
While the study appears to show benefits for bariatric surgery, the study involved only two years of follow-up and can only show initial outcomes. The long-term effects of bariatric surgery also need to be considered – people undergoing these forms of surgery have to change the way they eat for the rest of their lives while requiring daily supplements.