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Normal-Weight People With Type 2 Diabetes Have Higher Death Risk: Study
Date:8/8/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Normal-weight people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have more than twice the risk of dying from heart disease and other causes than their overweight peers with the disease, a new analysis indicates.

Although type 2 diabetes is normally associated with people who are overweight and lead sedentary lifestyles, the metabolic disorder can affect those who are normal weight. In the study, about one in eight people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were of normal weight -- and it appears the disease may be more aggressive in people who aren't overweight when they're diagnosed.

"We were somewhat surprised to find that people who have type 2 diabetes who were normal weight at the time of diagnosis had higher rates of mortality than those who were overweight or obese," said study author Mercedes Carnethon, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

"Overweight and obesity confers certain protective effects in end-stage renal disease and heart failure. It's called the obesity paradox," Carnethon explained. She added, however, that being overweight or obese is far more harmful than protective overall.

Extra weight is associated with the development of many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. People who have type 2 diabetes and are overweight still have an elevated risk of complications, and one of the most effective treatments for type 2 diabetes is to lose weight.

Results of the study appear in the Aug. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The analysis included five long-term studies done from 1990 to 2006. The research looked at more than 2,600 people who were diagnosed with diabetes. Half of the study participants were male. All were over age 40, and about two-thirds were white.

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