When doctors ask diabetics to lose weight, it is not baseless. A new larger research supports this prescription, finding that excess weight might increase the risk of premature death among people with type 2 diabetes.
The heavier a diabetic person is, the greater is their risk of dying early. "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.
Diabetes disables a person’s body to make enough insulin or to use the hormone properly to convert the food they eat into energy. As a result, the blood-sugar levels go too high.
The particular study 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.
These participants were followed-up for nearly 16 years. During this period, almost 3100 people died, according to the research. 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.
The study was published on Jan. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Source: HealthDay Reporter
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