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As diabetes levels continue to rise, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those with Type 2 diabetes who are relatively trim may not live as long as people with the condition who carry extra weight.
For the study, researchers analyzed information from five previous
studies that included a total of 2,625 people with diabetes. Participants were observed for nine to 28 years, and categorized based
on their body mass index. - normal weight was considered a BMI 18.5 and
24.9; overweight/obese was for BMI that was 25 or greater.
During the study, a total of 449 people died: 178 from heart
disease, and 253 from other causes. The results showed that yearly death rate for
normal-weight people was 284.8 per 10,000 people, while it was 152.1
deaths per 10,000 among those who were overweight or obese.
The findings seem to indicate that people with diabetes who were of normal weight at
the time of their diagnosis were about twice as likely to die from any
cause over a 10- to 30-year period than those who were overweight or
obese at diagnosis. This might have to do with what is known as the obesity paradox: despite being at a higher risk of many chronic conditions,
obese people seem to be protected from dying of certain diseases, such
as heart disease.
However, the researchers were not able to
measure the study participants' distribution of fat tissue directly, so
it could be that some people with a high BMI who are classified as obese
actually have a high proportion of lean muscle mass; while some
normal-weight people may have a high percentage of body fat if they have
depleted muscle mass.
Regardless of weight, the researchers still urged diabetes patients to
exercise and follow a diet that will help reduce their blood sugar and
blood fat levels.