Thinner Isn't Better for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics
Type 2 diabetics who have a normal weight at the time of diagnosis have a sharply greater risk of dying than do newly diagnosed diabetics who are overweight, a new study has found.
The study analyzed weight at the time of diagnosis, not in the years following it. Weight management has long been a recommended method of diabetes control, and obesity is a big risk factor for the illness. In fact, just 12 percent of those diagnosed as Type 2 diabetics are of normal weight.
But among that minority, researchers at Northwestern University found that there was twice the risk of death from any cause.
Researchers speculated that genetics, age and ethnicity could play a role.” It could be that this is a very unique subset of the population… and it is possible that genetics is a factor with these individuals,” lead author said Mercedes R. Carnethon, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern, said in a statement.
Failure to diagnose may also be an issue. “Many times physicians don’t expect that normal-weight people have diabetes when it is quite possible that they do and could be at a high risk of mortality, particularly if they are older adults or members of a minority group,” Carnethon said. Some subjects in the study had pre-existing cardiovascular disease, while research on their smoking habit was inconsistent.
The study was published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association.”