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1.  Metabolic Effects of Bariatric Surgery in Patients With Moderate Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(8):2175-2182.
To evaluate the effects of two bariatric procedures versus intensive medical therapy (IMT) on β-cell function and body composition.
This was a prospective, randomized, controlled trial of 60 subjects with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes (HbA1c 9.7 ± 1%) and moderate obesity (BMI 36 ± 2 kg/m2) randomized to IMT alone, IMT plus Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, or IMT plus sleeve gastrectomy. Assessment of β-cell function (mixed-meal tolerance testing) and body composition was performed at baseline and 12 and 24 months.
Glycemic control improved in all three groups at 24 months (N = 54), with a mean HbA1c of 6.7 ± 1.2% for gastric bypass, 7.1 ± 0.8% for sleeve gastrectomy, and 8.4 ± 2.3% for IMT (P < 0.05 for each surgical group versus IMT). Reduction in body fat was similar for both surgery groups, with greater absolute reduction in truncal fat in gastric bypass versus sleeve gastrectomy (−16 vs. −10%; P = 0.04). Insulin sensitivity increased significantly from baseline in gastric bypass (2.7-fold; P = 0.004) and did not change in sleeve gastrectomy or IMT. β-Cell function (oral disposition index) increased 5.8-fold in gastric bypass from baseline, was markedly greater than IMT (P = 0.001), and was not different between sleeve gastrectomy versus IMT (P = 0.30). At 24 months, β-cell function inversely correlated with truncal fat and prandial free fatty acid levels.
Bariatric surgery provides durable glycemic control compared with intensive medical therapy at 2 years. Despite similar weight loss as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass uniquely restores pancreatic β-cell function and reduces truncal fat, thus reversing the core defects in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3714483  PMID: 23439632
2.  Progression of coronary atherosclerosis in African-American patients 
African-Americans with coronary artery disease (CAD) demonstrate worse clinical outcomes than Caucasians. While this is partly due to a lack of accessibility to established therapies, the mechanisms underlying this difference remain to be elucidated. We aimed to characterize the progression of coronary atherosclerosis in African-Americans with CAD.
3,479 patients with CAD underwent serial intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging to evaluate atheroma progression in 7 clinical trials of anti-atherosclerotic therapies. Risk factor control and atheroma progression were compared between African-Americans (n=170) and Caucasians (n=3,309).
African-Americans were more likely to be female (51.8% vs. 28.1%, P<0.001), have a higher body mass index (32.8±6.0 vs. 31.3±5.8 kg/m2, P=0.002) and greater history of hypertension (85.9% vs. 78.8%, P=0.02), diabetes (41.8% vs. 30.6%, P=0.002) and stroke (12.9% vs. 3.0%, P<0.001). Despite a high use of anti-atherosclerotic medications (93% statin, 89% aspirin, 79% β-blocker, 52% ACE inhibitor), African-Americans demonstrated higher levels of LDL-C (2.4±0.7 vs. 2.2±0.7 mmol/L, P=0.006), CRP (2.9 vs. 2.0 mg/dL, P<0.001) and systolic blood pressure (133±15 vs. 129±13 mmHg, P<0.001) at follow-up. There was no significant difference in atheroma volume at baseline (189.0±82.2 vs. 191.6±83.3 mm3, P=0.82) between two groups. Serial evaluation demonstrated a greater increase in atheroma volume in African-Americans (0.51±2.1 vs. –3.1±1.7 mm3, P=0.01). This difference persisted with propensity matching accounting for differences in risk factor control (0.1±2.1 vs. –3.7±1.7 mm3, P=0.02).
African-Americans with CAD achieve less optimal risk factor control and greater atheroma progression. These findings support the need for more intensive risk factor modification in African-Americans.
PMCID: PMC3839202  PMID: 24282765
African-American; coronary atherosclerosis; intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)
3.  Bariatric Surgery versus Intensive Medical Therapy in Obese Patients with Diabetes 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(17):1567-1576.
Observational studies have shown improvement in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus after bariatric surgery.
In this randomized, nonblinded, single-center trial, we evaluated the efficacy of intensive medical therapy alone versus medical therapy plus Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy in 150 obese patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. The mean (±SD) age of the patients was 49 ± 8 years, and 66% were women. The average glycated hemoglobin level was 9.2 ± 1.5%. The primary end point was the proportion of patients with a glycated hemoglobin level of 6.0% or less 12 months after treatment.
Of the 150 patients, 93% completed 12 months of follow-up. The proportion of patients with the primary end point was 12% (5 of 41 patients) in the medical-therapy group versus 42% (21 of 50 patients) in the gastric-bypass group (P = 0.002) and 37% (18 of 49 patients) in the sleeve-gastrectomy group (P = 0.008). Glycemic control improved in all three groups, with a mean glycated hemoglobin level of 7.5 ± 1.8% in the medical-therapy group, 6.4 ± 0.9% in the gastric-bypass group (P<0.001), and 6.6 ± 1.0% in the sleeve-gastrectomy group (P = 0.003). Weight loss was greater in the gastric-bypass group and sleeve-gastrectomy group (−29.4 ± 9.0 kg and −25.1 ± 8.5 kg, respectively) than in the medical-therapy group (−5.4 ± 8.0 kg) (P<0.001 for both comparisons). The use of drugs to lower glucose, lipid, and blood-pressure levels decreased significantly after both surgical procedures but increased in patients receiving medical therapy only. The index for homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) improved significantly after bariatric surgery. Four patients underwent reoperation. There were no deaths or life-threatening complications.
In obese patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, 12 months of medical therapy plus bariatric surgery achieved glycemic control in significantly more patients than medical therapy alone. Further study will be necessary to assess the durability of these results. (Funded by Ethicon Endo-Surgery and others; number, NCT00432809.)
PMCID: PMC3372918  PMID: 22449319
4.  Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Factors That Account for a Significant Portion of Attributable Mortality Risk in Chronic Kidney Disease 
The American Journal of Cardiology  2008;101(12):1741-1746.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases cardiovascular risk and mortality. However, traditional cardiovascular risk factors do not adequately account for the substantial increase in mortality observed in CKD. The aim of this study was to examine the relative contributions of novel cardiovascular risk factors to the risk between CKD and mortality. The study population included 4,680 consecutive new patients from a tertiary care preventive cardiology program from 1996 to 2005. Estimated glomerular filtration rate was calculated using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) method. Baseline levels of traditional (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, hypertension, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and fasting glucose) and emerging (apolipoproteins A-I and B, lipoprotein[a], fibrinogen, homocysteine, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) risk factors were examined. All-cause mortality was obtained from the Social Security Death Index. There were 278 deaths over a median follow-up period of 22 months. CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate ≤60 ml/min/1.73 m2) was strongly associated with mortality after adjusting for traditional cardiovascular risk factors (hazard ratio 2.31, 95% confidence interval 1.77 to 3.11, p <0.001) and with the addition of propensity score (hazard ratio 2.33, 95% confidence interval 1.75 to 3.10, p <0.001). Of all the traditional and emerging risk factors monitored, only the addition of homocysteine and fibrinogen significantly attenuated the association between CKD and mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 1.73, 95% confidence interval 1.23 to 2.34, p <0.001), explaining 38% of the attributable mortality risk from CKD. A significant interaction (p = 0.004) between homocysteine and estimated glomerular filtration rate was observed whereby the annual mortality rate in subjects with CKD with homocysteine <10 μmol/L (the bottom tertile) was similar to those with normal renal function (1% per year), whereas homocysteine levels ≥12.5 μmol/L (the top tertile) were associated with a sevenfold greater mortality risk. In conclusion, homocysteine and fibrinogen levels explain nearly 40% of the attributable mortality risk from CKD.
PMCID: PMC3354958  PMID: 18549850
5.  Exercise Hemodynamic Findings in Patients with Exertional Dyspnea 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2000;27(2):100-105.
To determine whether upright bicycle exercise could provide useful information about disabling exertional dyspnea in the absence of severe abnormalities (as shown by traditional testing methods), we evaluated 13 such patients. There were 3 men and 10 women with a mean age of 49 ± 15 (SD) years. We used pulmonary artery catheterization at rest and during upright bicycle exercise to evaluate these patients. All patients had normal left ventricular function except for 1, who had an ejection fraction of 45%. The mean duration to peak exercise was 9 ± 6 minutes.
Normal systolic pulmonary artery pressure was defined as 25 ± 5 mmHg. Four patients had normal systolic pulmonary pressure, and 9 exhibited pulmonary hypertension with exercise. In those 9, the mean mixed pulmonary venous oxygen saturation at rest was 61% ± 9% and fell to 32% ± 9% at peak exercise. Six of the 9 patients also had some degree of resting pulmonary hypertension that worsened with exercise: their mean pulmonary artery systolic pressure at rest was 47 ± 14 mmHg and rose to 75 ± 25 mmHg at peak exertion (P = 0.01). The other 3 patients showed no pulmonary hypertension at rest; their mean pulmonary artery systolic pressure was 27 ± 6 mmHg. However, this level rose to 53 ± 4 mmHg at peak exertion (P = 0.04).
In this pilot study of patients with dyspnea, 9 of 13 (69%) displayed marked pulmonary hypertension with exercise. The resting hemodynamic levels were normal in 3 (33%) of those with exercise pulmonary hypertension. We conclude that hemodynamic data from bicycle exercise tests can provide additional information regarding the mechanisms of exertional dyspnea.
PMCID: PMC101041  PMID: 10928494
Catheterization; dyspnea; exercise test; hemodynamics; hypertension, pulmonary/diagnosis

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