Coronary Artery Disease

Bariatric Surgery Decreases CAD Risk

Undergoing bariatric surgery helps to lower pericardial fat thickness (PFT), which, in turn, lowers the risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a recent study.

Obesity is significantly associated with the risk of metabolic syndrome and CAD, and bariatric surgery has been shown to safely and effectively reduce weight and 10-year cardiovascular disease risk, the researchers wrote.

For this reason, they conducted a retrospective review of patient data from 113 individuals who underwent bariatric surgery and had computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest within 5 years pre- and post-operatively. CT scans were used to measure PFT, and the Framingham risk score was used to estimate the risk of developing CAD.

Overall, the percent of excess body mass index loss at 12 months was 74.4+35.8% for patients who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy versus 67+30.1% for those who underwent laparoscopic gastric Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Collective PFT changed from 5.6 + 1.9mm pre-surgery to 4.6 + 1.6mm post-surgery. The overall reduction in CAD relative risk following surgery was 17.4%.

“Previous studies have shown that the accumulation of pericardial fat is a risk factor to develop CAD in obese and morbidly obese patients. Our study shows that bariatric surgery decreases the PFT, and to lower the risk of developing CAD. To further strengthen these findings and confirm the correlation between the 2, larger prospective randomized studies are required,” the researchers concluded.

—Michael Potts


Sarmiento-Cobos M, Aleman R, Gomez CO, et al. Weight loss following bariatric surgery decreases pericardial fat thickness lowering the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Published online September 20, 2020. Surg Obes Relat Dis. Doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2020.09.018