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Diabetics show alarming increase in morbid obesity
Date:11/23/2009

MAYWOOD, Il. -- A Loyola University Health System study has found that one out of five Type 2 diabetics is morbidly obese -- approximately 100 pounds or more overweight.

Researchers reported that 62.4 percent of U.S. adults with Type 2 diabetes are obese, and 20.7 percent are morbidly obese. Among African American adults with Type 2 diabetes, 1 in 3 is morbidly obese.

"The rate of morbid obesity among people with diabetes is increasing at a very alarming rate, and this has substantial public health implications," said Dr. Holly Kramer, a kidney specialist and lead author of the study published online in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications.

Kramer and colleagues examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys completed during the years 1976 to 2006. The surveys, known as NHANES, included interviews and physical examinations of representative samples of the U.S. population.

Between the survey periods 1976-1980 and 2005-2006, there was a 141 percent increase in the rate of morbid obesity among adults with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes.

Morbid obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. For example, a 5-foot-2-inch adult with a 40 BMI weighs 218 pounds (82 pounds overweight), while a 6-foot-2-inch adult with a 40 BMI weighs 311 pounds (117 pounds overweight).

The greatest growth in obesity has been among diabetics who are morbidly obese. Thus, focusing solely on overall obesity rates "hinders the complete comprehension of this massive public health problem," Kramer and colleagues wrote.

Diabetics already are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, and obesity further increases this risk, especially among women. Obesity also increases other diabetes complications, including end-stage kidney disease. Other obesity complications include sleep-disordered breathi
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Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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