Physicians have long noticed that though obesity is connected to diabetes there are plenty of obese people who never develop diabetes. That observation has recently been studied and vindicated.
According to a study that followed up 732 obese individuals for a median of 7 years recently published in JAMA (Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association), excess visceral fat and insulin resistance, but not general adiposity, are both independently associated with incident prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
"Although increased body mass index (BMI) is associated with diabetes at the population level, it does not adequately discriminate diabetes risk among obese individuals. Indeed, many obese persons appear resistant to the development of metabolic disease," the authors write.
Participants in the study, which followed 732 obese people for an average of 7 years, who later developed diabetes- were more likely than those who remained diabetes-free to have a family history of diabetes, suffer from hypertension and have an abnormally high waist circumference. BMI (Body Mass Index), which is in general use to measure obesity, was not found to be associated with higher risk.
This study validates previous studies that have shown that abdominal visceral fat specifically increases insulin resistance and raises the risk for the development of diabetes.
By recognizing that direct causes of increased risk, we enable direct targeting of those causes. In this case obviously both weight reduction and physical exercise aimed at reducing waist circumference, would both be extremely beneficial at reducing the risk of developing diabetes in high risk obese patients.
My name is Miriam Rotman, M.D., a Medical Director for Fidelis Diagnostics. I have been happily employed by Fidelis for the past 6 years, involved primarily in my favorite field – medical education, as well as many other endeavors (such as this blog).
Background: I grew up in Israel, where I went to Medical school and did both my residency and fellowship in primary practice. After moving to the States, I became involved with Fidelis at an early stage and have greatly enjoyed my time in the company both professionally and personally.
Fidelis has conceived this blog as a way of continuously updating for the public and the Fidelis community on the most current medical information as well as a forum for you to share views, ask questions, be more informed about your medical test and better educated.
We hope that if you have any question regarding an upcoming test, you post it on the blog and I promise to answer it as soon as possible. If I feel that the community will benefit from the question and answer, I might post it on the blog (anonymously of-course).
I hope you are as excited about this endeavor as I am,
Waiting to hear from you,
Miriam Rotman, M.D., Medical Director
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