The Effect of Weight Loss on Indigenous Australians with Diabetes: a study of Feasibility, Acceptability and Effectiveness of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

Paul E. O’Brien, Dawn E. DeWitt, Cheryl Laurie, Leah Brennan, John M. Wentworth, Margaret Anderson, Kerin O’Dea, Felicia Dean, Andrew Smith, David P. Dalton

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Objectives: Diabetes and obesity are common and serious health challenges for indigenous people worldwide. The feasibility of achieving substantial weight loss, leading to remission of diabetes, was evaluated in a regional indigenous Australian community. Subjects/Methods: A prospective cohort study of 30 obese indigenous adults from the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative in Central Victoria was performed. Inclusion criteria included aboriginality, BMI > 30 kg/m2 and diabetes diagnosed within the last 10 years. Weight loss was achieved using laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). Participants were treated in their community and followed for 2 years. Outcomes were compared with those of non-indigenous Australians from an earlier randomized controlled trial (RCT) using a similar protocol. Results: 30 participants (26 females, mean age 44.6 years; mean BMI 44.3) had LAGB at the regional hospital. Twenty-six participants completed diabetes assessment at 2 years follow-up. They showed diabetes remission (fasting blood glucose < 7.0 mmol/L and haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) < 6.2 % while off all therapy except metformin) in 20 of the 26 and a mean weight loss (SD) of 26.0 (14) kilograms. Based on intention-to-treat, remission rate was 66 %. Quality of life improved. There was one early event and 12 late adverse events. The outcomes for weight loss and diabetes remission were not different from the LAGB group of the RCT. Conclusions: For obese indigenous people with diabetes, a regionalized model of care centred on the LAGB is an effective approach to a serious health problem. The model proved feasible and acceptable to the indigenous people. Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN 12609000319279).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Aboriginal
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric banding
  • Indigenous
  • LAGB
  • Obesity
  • Remission of diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Weight loss

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