The Effects of Bariatric Surgery on the Cardiovascular System

Keith Bernis, Roberta Florido, Chiadi E. Ndumele

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions in industrialized regions, is associated with myriad cardiovascular abnormalities and several different types of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the finding of an obesity paradox among patients with prevalent CVD and limited cardiovascular outcomes data from clinical trials of medical weight loss have raised questions regarding the cardiovascular benefits of weight loss, particularly among those with existing CVD. Therefore, in this manuscript, we review recent investigative developments regarding the effects of bariatric surgery on the cardiovascular system. Recent Findings: Emerging evidence demonstrates several beneficial cardiovascular changes following bariatric surgery. The weight loss consequent to bariatric surgery is associated with improved vascular function, lessened atherosclerosis, reversals of cardiac remodeling, and improved surrogate measures of arrhythmia. Additionally, a growing body of prospective, nonrandomized data also demonstrates a reduction in hard cardiovascular endpoints, including coronary heart disease events, heart failure rates, and incident atrial fibrillation. Summary: Surgical weight loss is linked to several improvements in cardiovascular structure and function, as well as a reduction in cardiovascular events. However, there is a need for additional data examining the effects of bariatric surgery on cardiovascular outcomes, particularly related to heart failure and arrhythmias and among patients with existing CVD. Despite the noted obesity paradox in CVD, it is likely that marked intentional weight loss among patients with morbid obesity is associated with significant cardiovascular risk reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalCurrent Cardiovascular Risk Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Medical weight loss
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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