Israeli researchers have found a way to better predict the remission of diabetes in patients undergoing bariatric surgery – enabling patients and doctors to make informed decisions regarding surgery.

Bariatric surgery, also known as gastric bypass surgery, has long been considered an effective way to achieve type 2 diabetes remission.

However, not all patients who undergo the surgery achieve long-term remission, diminishing the advantages of having such a major medical procedure.

A clinical scoring system called DiaRem is used to help predict post-op diabetes remission for a period of up to one year. However, this is short-term and not always accurate.

Now, in a study recently published in Obesity Surgery, researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have shown that expanding the information calculated in the DiaRem scoring system improves doctors’ ability to predict their patients’ diabetes remission for up to five years.

“We showed that by using our improved predicting score, the ‘Advanced-DiaRem,’ we were able to predict the long-term probability that the patient undergoing surgery would achieve a remission of their diabetes,” said Dr. Rachel Golan, one of the researchers who conducted the study.

The discovery comes as obesity rates continue to soar at epidemic levels, making it the leading cause of preventable death in Western countries.

“On the most local level, the ability to predict an individual’s reaction to surgery will give both doctors and patients the clarity they need to make informed medical decisions,” Golan said.

“And at the macro level, it will allow healthcare officials to address a major public health crisis that is one of the major contributors to the spiraling cost of healthcare, and direct specific resources to where they can be most effective in a personalized manner,” she added.

Golan conducted the study with Prof. Assaf Rudich, also of BGU. They were joined by Dr. Dror Dicker of the Israeli Society for Research and Treatment of Obesity, researchers from Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Clalit Health Services and the Sorbonne University in Paris.