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One in five type 2 diabetics may be suitable for diabetic surgery


A survey of more than 3,000 respondents who had type 2 diabetes showed that 18% can be suitable for diabetes surgery based on the National Board of Health and Welfare’s guidelines. Other observations in the patient data also show that many, especially men, believe that they have good control of their blood sugar, even though the long-term blood sugar is above the target value.

During the autumn of 2020 and the spring of 2021, a survey was conducted on regarding how well patients with type 2 diabetes can be suitable for diabetes surgery. Diabetes surgery has been shown to be an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes where about 1/3 of those who have surgery show a normal blood sugar without medication, after 10 years of follow-up.

The National Board of Health and Welfare recommends that patients with type 2 diabetes and BMI> After careful medical evaluation, obesity surgery is offered. If blood sugar control is not achieved, surgery may also be considered in people with type 2 diabetes with a BMI of 35-40.

The questionnaire was used to answer questions about:

  • How long have you had diabetes
  • If you had drug treatment and if so, which one
  • How to experience your blood sugar control
  • BMI, age, sex
  • Latest value of long-term blood sugar (HbA1C)

In addition to the fact that 18% of the respondents met the criteria for receiving diabetes surgery, other interesting data were found. Among other things, it was seen that many men and people who have had their diabetes over 3 years state that they have good control of their blood sugar, but when they state the HbA1C value, it is above the target values you should try to be within. This was also seen in the target group under 65 years.

– The data I have seen confirms the image that we as doctors may have taken it a little too easy to try to optimize the treatment to reach the target value. We need to be more aggressive in our treatment and follow the guidelines set by the National Board of Health and Welfare to achieve these. Especially with those who are younger, says Ulf Rosenqvist, chief physician at the diabetes clinic Motala Hospital.

The research and information on diabetes surgery will continue on in 2021 to gather more data points and increase knowledge about the treatment.

– The knowledge about diabetes surgery is not particularly widespread among patients or the medical profession. Otherwise, I see this as an important part of the treatment arsenal for patients with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, I think it is important that the information reaches both patients and care staff and that we can follow that development with the help of various surveys and information initiatives, says Professor Lena Carlsson Ekander at the University of Gothenburg.

About is a leader in health information for the general public and patients where the goal is to increase knowledge in health, diseases and well-being. Collaborations are underway with authorities and life science companies to reach out with important information in various disease areas and for data to be collected via surveys to see how knowledge and behavioral changes take place in the health and disease area.

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