The Position of the International Diabetes Federation


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This is abstracted from the full report, which you can access here:

  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes are serious chronic diseases associated with complex metabolic dysfunctions that increase the risk for morbidity and mortality.
  • The dramatic rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes has become a major global public health issue and demands urgent attention from governments, health care systems and the medical community.
  • Bariatric surgery is an appropriate treatment for people with type 2 diabetes and obesity not achieving recommended treatment targets with medical therapies, especially when there are other major co-morbidities.
  • Surgery should be an accepted option in people who have type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 35 or more.
  • Surgery should be considered as an alternative treatment option in patients with a BMI between 30 and 35 when diabetes cannot be adequately controlled by optimal medical regimen, especially in the presence of other major cardiovascular disease risk factors.
  • In Asian, and some other ethnicities of increased risk, BMI action points may be reduced by 2.5 kg/m2.
  • The morbidity and mortality associated with bariatric surgery is generally low, and similar to that of well-accepted procedures such as elective gall bladder or gall stone surgery. Bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetes must be performed within accepted international and national guidelines. This requires appropriate assessment for the procedure and comprehensive and ongoing multidisciplinary care, patient education, follow-up and clinical audit, as well as safe and effective surgical procedures.
  • In order to optimize the future use of bariatric surgery as a therapeutic modality for type 2 diabetes further research is required.