Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Bariatric surgery induced remission of hypertension in obese patients and diminishes medication

GATEWAY - Effects of Bariatric Surgery in Obese Patients with Hypertension

Presented at AHA 2017 Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, CA, USA by Carlos Schiavon (Heart Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil

News - Nov. 14, 2017

Main results


The GATEWAY study shows that bariatric surgery represents an effective strategy in the treatment of obese patients with hypertension. These results are relevant in the context of minimizing non-adherence to therapy and its related consequences. Considering the improved metabolic and inflammatory profile, the observed effects have, in theory, the potential to reduce major CV events.


Discussant Paul Poirier (Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Quebec, Canada) said that the GATEWAY trial is one of the biggest bariatric surgery trials. He noted that those patients technically do not fulfill criteria for bariatric surgery, as the minimal BMI is normally 40, of 35 with comorbidities. In the trial, patients were quite young (43.8±9.2 years). Only 4 were lost to follow-up. The observed remission of hypertension was true both based on office and ABPM 24-hour blood pressure. Considering SPRINT-insights, he proposed that maybe we should go even lower in obese patients.

The literature of bariatric surgery speaks of a broad range of positive effects, but most of the data was obtained in the diabetes remission world. This is the first study showing hypertension as a primary outcome. It confirms that bariatric surgery can do good things. Possible mechanisms include an effect on insulin resistance (renal sodium reabsorption and increased sympathetic tone), or on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, gut hormones (GLP-1 and peptide YY may play a role in the entero-renal axis) or inflammation (modulation of arterial stiffness).

The question remains what this means for more obese patients. It is currently unknown and the main challenge in BP measurement is that upper arms are frequently short, large and conical. Overall, Poirier concluded that this trial confirms the results of observational studies, with better control of residual confounding due to the randomized and standardized design.


- Our reporting is based on the information provided at the AHA 2017 congress -

The results were published simultaneously at Circulation

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