Impact of Surgically Induced Weight Loss on Cardiovascular Autonomic Function: One-year Follow-up


Department of Medical Technology, 305F Willard Hall, Education Building, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716. E-mail:


Objective: To determine the impact of surgically induced weight loss on cardiovascular autonomic function in subjects with severe obesity and examine whether the effect was comparable for persons with and without diabetes.

Research Methods and Procedures: Twenty-six severely obese individuals (BMI = 48 ± 7 kg/m2) underwent bariatric surgery (laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, n = 21; laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, n = 5). Cardiovascular autonomic function (heart rate variation during deep breathing and the Valsalva maneuver) was assessed before and 6 and 12 months after surgery.

Results: Twelve months after bariatric surgery, there was a 28% decrease in BMI. There was an increase in all parasympathetic indices of autonomic function (all assessment modalities, p < 0.05) with weight loss. The amount of improvement from baseline for all measures of autonomic function did not differ for those with or without diabetes.

Discussion: Surgically induced weight loss 12 months after surgery has a favorable effect on cardiovascular autonomic function in severely obese individuals with and without diabetes.