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Commentary
April 15, 2009

Bariatric Surgery and DiabetesWho Should Be Offered the Option of Remission?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland (Dr Purnell); and Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr Flum). Dr Flum is Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2009;301(15):1593-1595. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.541

Diabetes has been considered the model chronic disease—progressive, managed rather than cured, and burdensome to patients and the health care system. But all this changed with the observation that many patients undergoing surgically induced weight loss appear to have a form of lasting remission of their diabetes.1 Now that the medical community can offer a chance for diabetes remission, why has surgery not become the standard of care for severely obese patients, and what public health strategy could offer bariatric surgery in a sensible manner?

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