Skyline View of Nashville

View from the Top: The Heart of OW2018

It’s here. From all over the world, roughly 5,000 surgeons, clinicians, scientists, and scholars are pouring into Nashville for OW2018. They’ll spend an entire week examining everything we know about obesity. ConscienHealth already served up a top 10 list. But even better than that, here’s a view from the the head of the class. TOS Program Chair Lori Zeltser and ASMBS President Samer Mattar tell us what to expect.

Getting to the Heart of Obesity

The opening keynote will set a focus for the entire meeting, say Zeltser and Mattar. That focus is  all about getting to the heart of obesity. The chair of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic, Steven Nissen, will deliver it. Indeed, nobody in the world has a better grasp on cardiovascular outcomes than Nissen. He shook up the FDA and diabetes care in the early 2000s with contrarian views about the cardiovascular safety of Avandia. At the time, it was the world’s leading treatment for type 2 diabetes. Oddly enough, it was a drug that caused patients to gain weight.

But Zeltser says the real point is to take the focus in obesity away from weight loss and onto health outcomes:

I think what’s really important about some of the studies that will be presented with regard to cardiometabolic risk and obesity is to divorce the idea that the two always go together. Improving cardiometabolic fitness and decreasing long-term risk does not always read out on the scale.”

Rich Data on Surgery Outcomes

Mattar says that the top ASMBS papers on Tuesday morning will focus on cardiac health. “Certainly there’s rising evidence showing numerous benefits of bariatric surgery in patients with cardiac disease,” he says. A joint ASMBS/TOS symposium will examine cardiovascular health outcomes from bariatric surgery.

In addition, he points to a rich source of data for surgery outcomes – the MBSAQIP registry. On Tuesday afternoon, an entire session will focus on outcome studies from this database. Furthermore, studies using the registry are everywhere you turn in the program.

For more on what to expect at OW2018, click here and here.

Skyline View of Nashville, photograph © Michael Hicks / flickr

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November 11, 2018