EndoBarrier treatment could help NHS treat type 2

By Editor
8th March 2017
Research, West Midlands

An NHS service in Birmingham is offering an alternative treatment to gastric bypass for obese people with type 2 diabetes that could be made widely available.

On the first day of Diabetes UK’s Professional Conference, the team from City Hospital presented how using the unique EndoBarrier therapy could help people on the NHS control their condition better.

The EndoBarrier is a 60cm long ‘sleeve’ which is inserted into the intestines to stop food being absorbed. Previous studies have already shown the treatment can help obese people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition better.

The lead clinician, Dr Robert Ryder, said: “As other studies have shown promising results of EndoBarriers being used to treat type 2 diabetes effectively, we wanted to find out if offering a service on the NHS would help some of the hardest cases.

“We believe this to be an effective and safe service, and one NHS hospitals across the UK could easily take it up.”

During their research, 45 people were referred for the EndoBarrier treatment and 25 ended up having one inserted.

Participants had lived with type 2 diabetes for an average of 12 years and usual treatments options, including diet and medications, had failed to help control the condition.

A year after the therapy had been embedded, the researchers found participants had lost a significant amount of weight (over 15 kilos). Not only that, but they also had reduced systolic blood pressure and much better controlled blood glucose levels. Six participants also no longer needed to use insulin therapy.

Diabetes UK’s director of research, Dr Elizabeth Robertson, said: “People with diabetes face the risk of life-changing, and life-limiting, complications, unless they are given the very best care and the support they need to manage their condition well.

“The results of this trial are promising, but long-term, large-scale studies are still needed to understand the true impact of EndoBarrier use on the management of type 2 diabetes.”

Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, Professor Nick Harding OBE said: “We are delighted to see this service being offered at Birmingham City Hospital. It’s good to see the promising results of EndoBarriers for obese people with type 2 diabetes, with participants in the study losing weight and enjoying better health. This is a great example of innovation being used to improve quality of life for our patients.”

At the one-year follow-up, participants had lost an average of 16.3 kilos (+/-10) and systolic blood pressure fell significantly (from 137.7 (+/-13.5) to 126.0 (+/-16.5) mm Hg). Blood glucose levels were better controlled, with HbA1c falling from an average of 81.2 (+/-24.7) to 56.4 (+/-11.5) mmol/mol.

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