[tabi] news about diabetes

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2012 10:54:01 -0400

Below is an article from "Daily Health News":


Is It Riskier to Be a Thin Diabetic?


It's well-known that obesity raises the risk for type 2 diabetes, but
roughly 11%

of people with the disease have a "normal" body mass index between 18.5
and 24.9.

They are what you might call "thin people with diabetes."

If you're one of them, you might assume that you're at lower risk for
serious complications

from your diabetes-but a new study actually shows

the opposite.

It has found that people with type 2 diabetes who are not overweight
have a

higher risk for death from any cause

, compared with overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes.

How much greater was the risk?

And how can that be?

I spoke with the researchers to find out...


In the study, scientists analyzed data that followed a total of 2,625
people from

the time of their type 2 diabetes diagnoses for anywhere from seven to
28 years (or

their death).

It showed that people who were of normal weight at the time of diagnosis
had more



the risk of dying from any cause as people who were overweight or obese
at the time

of diagnosis, and this held true even after adjusting for factors such
as age, smoking

and blood pressure.

That finding seemed backward to me, so I called the lead author Mercedes

PhD, to learn more.


Dr. Carnethon said that there are several possible explanations for why

people with diabetes might die sooner than overweight people with
diabetes, including...

Loss of lean muscle.

As people age, some drop pounds because they lose muscle and bone-not
fat. That's

a problem, though, because fat isn't as sensitive to insulin as muscle
is, so the

higher your fat-to-muscle ratio, the less your body is able to use
circulating glucose

for energy. In other words, it's possible that a person with a "normal"
weight who

has a high fat-to-muscle ratio could have a higher risk for death than a
person who

is classified as "overweight" and has a lower fat-to-muscle ratio.

Other illnesses.

Diabetes is generally an obesity-related disorder, so having diabetes
and a normal

weight might reflect another underlying illness-and that underlying
illness might

be what raises the risk for death. The researchers did exclude
participants who died

within two years of developing diabetes, but they were not able to
account for other

diseases participants may have had, such as cancer.

Less aggressive treatment.

It's possible that leaner people with diabetes are screened less
frequently and/or

less carefully...or that they are undertreated once their diabetes is
diagnosed, because

doctors may mistakenly perceive them to be at lower risk for
complications and death

compared with overweight people with diabetes.


So if you are of normal weight and have type 2 diabetes, what can you do
to help

prolong your life? Certainly, the results of this study do not suggest
that you should

just gobble food to gain weight. But there are a few things that you can
do, Dr.

Carnethon told me...

1. Talk to you physician about it.

Make sure that your doctor fully appreciates that even though you are
not overweight

or obese, your diabetes still represents a risk to your well-being and
you should

be evaluated and treated no less aggressively than your overweight

In fact, show him or her this article about death rates if you need to!

And ask:

"Do we fully understand the reason I got diabetes...and are we doing
everything possible

to treat that underlying cause?"

2. Make yourself strong.

Exercise of any kind will help improve your blood sugar control, but
strength training,

in particular, is a great way to lose fat and increase muscle.

By following these two simple tips, you'll have a better chance of
living a long,

healthy life!


Mercedes R. Carnethon, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine,

chair for faculty development and mentoring, department of preventive
medicine, Feinberg

School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago. Her study was
published in

The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Listing Details


Daily Health News

Original publication date:

October 18, 2012

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