Background: Bariatric surgery effectively induces weight loss and resolves cardiovascular comorbidities in obese patients. We investigated cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in patients who underwent gastrectomies for early gastric cancer (EGC) and analyzed the changes in metabolic parameters after surgery. Methods: A total of 2,477 patients who underwent gastrectomies for EGC between 1995 and 2004 were enrolled in the study and followed for mortality through 2007. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated using sex- and age-matched mortality in the general Korean population in 2005. Effects of gastrectomy on changes in body weight and metabolic parameters were investigated in 51 of the patients before and after surgery. Results: During the 15,096.4 person-years of follow-up, 244 deaths were recorded. The all-cause mortality was not significantly different from that of the general population (SMR [95 % confidence interval (CI)] = 1.01 [0.89 - 1.14]); however, cardiovascular mortality was significantly lower (SMR = 0.35 [0.22 - 0.53]). In the 51 patients included in the second part of the study, significant reductions in body weight and visceral fat areas occurred after surgery, regardless of whether the patients were previously obese. Triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels were significantly decreased, whereas HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin levels were increased. Carotid intima-media thickness also was significantly decreased in previously obese and nonobese patients. Conclusions: Patients with EGC who undergo gastrectomy have a lower cardiovascular mortality but similar all-cause mortality as that of the general population. In these patients, a significant reduction in body weight and visceral fat after surgery may improve impaired lipid metabolism and prevent atherosclerotic changes.
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