The breakthrough research presented at the ESC Congress 2020 reveals that high BMI is a big risk factor for diabetes type 2. Till last year, there were at least 463 million diabetic people in the world and 90% of them had type 2 diabetes. Diabetes itself is not a disease but a condition that increases the risk for other complicated diseases for example cardiovascular diseases.
Doctors often talk about the two biggest reasons behind development and risk factors for diabetes type 2. These include genetics and obesity but contrary to popular opinion, the new study finds that obesity is a bigger risk factor than genetics.
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Brian Ference is the investigator and study author who says that it is easy to believe that genes play a bigger role in diabetes development, as everything is linked with genes. While it may be possible to predict the risk of diabetes in early ages through genetic studies, a high BMI can help to identify everyone with the highest risk. It is because this risk is highest with those who are obese and way above their standard body mass index.
The study investigated more than 445,765 people and this data was obtained from the UK Biobank. More than half (54%) of these participants were women and the average age of all the participants was 57.2 years.
The basic data i.e. weight and height were obtained to calculate the body mass index of each one of these patients. After this, they were grouped as per risk factors and the intensity of these risk factors. All of the participants were checked to an average of 65.2 years. Surprisingly, 31,298 participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes until this time.
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The highest BMI group which was set as 34.5 kg/m2 on average showed a surprising 11-fold high risk than the lowest BMI group 21.7 kg/m2 on average. It suggested that BMI is a better indicator and a more clear risk factor for diabetes type 2 than genetics alone.
The research team used mathematical modeling to predict the increase of diabetes-related conditions if the BMI increased even more or if they experience obesity for a prolonged period. But they came to know that duration of time spent in obesity has no as such link with a high risk of diabetes.
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These results predict that when people cross a normal limit of BMI, they are more subjected to the risk of diabetes, irrespective of how many months or years they have spent being overweight.
The exact risk is different in every person and for the risk calculation, other factors such as sugar level, age, etc also account. On the other side, most of these cases are avoidable just by reducing the body mass index below the warning limit. For keeping control on the body mass index, diet and exercise both can help. But in case of eating disorders, it is necessary to get respective medical help.