Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .
.
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
Health News Health News
.
As Weight Rises in People With Diabetes, So Does Death Risk: Study
January 15, 2014

 

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Excess weight might increase the risk of premature death among people with type 2 diabetes, according to a large new study that could upend earlier research. And the heavier a person is, the greater their risk of dying early.

These latest findings call into question previous studies that found an "obesity paradox." Those results suggested that being overweight might actually provide some protection from dying.

"We wanted to address the so-called obesity paradox," said the study's lead author, Deirdre Tobias, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. "It seemed implausible."

"In our much larger data set, I think this data supports the conclusion that the obesity paradox is a myth for those with type 2 diabetes," Tobias said.

Being overweight or obese is a well-established risk factor for premature death from conditions such as heart disease or cancer, according to background information in the study. But with some chronic conditions, such as heart failure, kidney failure and type 2 diabetes, some studies have suggested that people who are overweight or obese have a lowered risk of death.

Previous research, however, often has been done with small sample sizes. These studies haven't been able to control optimally for smoking and for other pre-existing diseases, according to the current study's authors.

People with type 2 diabetes don't make enough insulin or don't use the hormone properly to convert the food they eat into energy. As a result, their blood-sugar levels are too high.

The current study -- published Jan. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine -- included more than 11,000 people with type 2 diabetes from the well-known Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. On average, their diabetes diagnoses occurred in their early 60s.

During nearly 16 years of follow-up, almost 3,100 people died, the researchers said. When they looked at the whole group, it appeared that being overweight or even slightly obese was less of a risk factor for dying than being normal weight. For example, someone with a body-mass index (BMI) -- a rough estimate of body fat based on height and weight -- between 27.5 and 29.9 was less likely to die than someone with a BMI between 18.5 and 22.4.

A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 25 and 29.9 is overweight, and over 30 is obese.

But when Tobias and her colleagues separated the data by smoking status, the obesity paradox disappeared for people who never smoked.

The researchers also looked at the data to see the relationship between BMI just before a diabetes diagnosis and deaths due to heart disease, cancer and other causes. They found that the higher the BMI, the greater the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease in those who never smoked.

"Smokers tend to be leaner, and that may attenuate the risk of obesity or even make it look protective," Tobias said. "But when we stratified the data by smoking status, we saw the relationship is truly linear, with mortality risk going up with BMI."

The bottom line: Being overweight or obese doesn't confer a survival benefit on people with diabetes, Tobias said. "Weight management still remains an important component of type 2 diabetes management," she said.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, agreed that the obesity paradox is a myth.

He said one of the reasons for so much conflicting information in studies is that using BMI alone as an indicator of weight status is insufficient.

"BMI doesn't tell us how much bad fat a person has," Zonszein said. "People have good fat and bad fat. It's more important to know about the bad fat. You have to look at BMI, along with other cardiovascular disease risk factors [such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol]. That would be much more reliable."

Based on current trends, the CDC estimates that by 2050 one in five Americans will have diabetes. Most people with diabetes have type 2, which is associated with being overweight and inactive.

More information

Learn more about type 2 diabetes from the American Diabetes Association.Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


SOURCES: Deirdre Tobias, Sc.D., research fellow, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, clinical diabetes center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Jan. 16, 2014 New England Journal of Medicine...

InteliHealth
.
.
.
.
.
More News
InteliHealth .
.
General Health News
Today's News
Today In Health History
This Week In Health
Addiction News
Allergy News
Alzheimer's News
Arthritis News
Asthma News
Babies News
Breast Cancer News
Bronchitis News
Cancer News
Cervical Cancer News
Children's Health News
Cholesterol News
Dental/Oral Health News
Depression News
Diabetes News
Ear, Nose And Throat News
Environmental Health News
Eye News
Fitness News
Genetics News
Headache News
Health Policy News
Heart Attack News
Heart Failure News
Heart Health News
HIV/AIDS News
Infectious Diseases News
Influenza News
Lung Cancer News
Medication News
Men's Health News
Mental Health News
Multiple Sclerosis News
Nutrition News
Parkinson's News
Pregnancy News
Prostate Cancer News
Schizophrenia
Senior Health News
Sexual/Reproductive Health News
Sexual dysfunction
Sleep News
STDs News
Stroke News
Tobacco Cessation News
Weight Management News
Women's Health News
.
.
.
.
InteliHealth
    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.