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Obesity duration and diabetes risk: new study findings

The risk of diabetes type 2  is higher for persons who are living long time with overweight or obesity, said researchers from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.


Long term obesity lead to higher risk of diabetes

Long term obesity lead to higher risk of diabetes


The medical scientists made a survey of 8157 adolescents and young adults (aged 14 to 21 years in 1979) from 1981 until 2006. The patients had self-reported measures of height, weight, and diabetes status (type unspecified). The scientists conducted logistic regression models to predict presumed type 2 diabetes (after excluding presumed type 1 diabetes).

Joyce M. Lee, Achamyeleh Gebremariam, Sandeep Vijan, James G. Gurney discovered that the degree and duration of excess weight, or obesity was a better predictor of diabetes risk than a single measurement of excess weight.

“Our study finds that the relationship between weight and type 2 diabetes is similar to the relationship between smoking and the risk of lung cancer. The amount of excess weight that you carry and the number of years for which you carry it dramatically increase your risk of diabetes,” said Joyce Lee, pediatric endocrinologist.

Children are becoming overweight or obese earlier, they are carrying extra weight for longer periods. “When you add the findings from this study, rates of diabetes in the United States may rise even higher than previously predicted,” Dr Lee said.

The researchers, who published their findings in September issue of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, said people with a BMI of 35 for 10 years would be considered to have 100 years of excess BMI. White men aged 40 years with 200 excess BMI-years had 2.94 times higher odds of developing diabetes compared with men of the same age and race with 100 excess BMI-years. For a given level of excess BMI-years, younger compared with older and Hispanic and black compared with white had higher risk of developing diabetes. Yet the study is limited by use of self-reported data without specification of diabetes type.


Diabetes type 2 is a metabolic disorder with high blood glucose, insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. Long-term complications from high blood sugar: heart attacks, strokes, amputation, diabetic retinopathy, kidney failure, loss of hearing, eyesight, cognitive ability. Diabetes, often found in persons with obesity, is  manageable through exercise and diet, later oral medication (pills) might be necessary, or even insulin.


What is obesity in adults and in children? Overweight and Obesity Definition


Obesity in adults is evaluated through BMI, its duration correlates with diabetes type 2 risk

Obesity in adults is evaluated through BMI, its duration correlates with diabetes type 2 risk


Overweight and obesity designate the weight values over what is accepted to be healthy for a given height. These terms also name ranges of weight that increase the risks of health problems. For adults, overweight and obesity are determined by calculating body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated using weight and height. This index is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight, and a BMI over 30 is considered obese. BMI ranges for children and teens take into account normal differences in body fat between boys and girls and differences in body fat at various ages.


How many people have obesity?


According to CDC 33.8% of U.S. adults are obese and around 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents are obese.

In 2010, all states had a prevalence of obesity over 20%, 36 states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30% or more. 

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