Normal-Weight Diabetics May Have Higher Risk of Dying

Obesity is strongly connected with diabetes; however researchers have found something surprising. If a person is diagnosed with diabetes while at a normal weight their risk of death may be higher than that of obese patents.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing patients who were recently diagnosed with diabetes, those with a BMI of less than 25 were compared to patients with a BMI of over 25. During the study analysis, 449 patients died. The cause of death was categorized into cardiovascular (178) and non-cardiovascular (253) types, with 18 deaths not classified. Those who were in the “normal-weight” category were more likely to suffer premature death in both categories, before and even after the findings were adjusted for lipid levels, blood pressure, smoking status and waist circumference.

The Genetic Link

According to the report certain segments of the population, especially those with Asian or African decent, are more likely to have diabetes at what is considered a “normal” BMI.

…previous research suggests that normal-weight persons with diabetes have a different genetic profile than overweight or obese persons with diabetes. If those same genetic variants that predispose to diabetes are associated with other illnesses, these individuals may be 'genetically loaded' toward experiencing higher mortality. Future research in normal-weight persons with diabetes should test these genetic hypotheses, along with other plausible mechanisms to account for higher mortality, includinginflammation, the distribution and action of adipose tissue, atherosclerosis burden and the composition of fatty plaques, and pancreatic beta-cell function."

Some “normal-weight” diabetics may be lulled into thinking that it is not important to keep a close watch on their blood sugar. These findings bring to light the importance of everyone who has this disease to take good care of themselves. “This could be a wake-up call for timely prevention and management to reduce adverse outcomes in all patients with type 2 diabetes, particularly in those metabolically obese(emphasis added) normal-weight at diagnosis, who may have a false sense of protection because they are not overweight or obese,” says the report.

Sources:
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1309174
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248790.php

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