Last Update 22:7
Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Overweight diabetes patients outlive slimmer ones: Study

Another example of the "obesity paradox"

Reuters , Tuesday 5 May 2015
Photo: Reuters
Views: 2535
Views: 2535

Patients with type-2 diabetes who are overweight but not obese outlive diabetics of normal weight, scientists reported on Monday, in another example of the "obesity paradox."

Although public health officials issue dire warnings about the consequences of overweight, and employers are pressuring workers to slim down via "wellness programs," the relationship between weight and longevity is paradoxical: Studies show that although obesity increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), overweight patients with CVD live longer than patients of normal weight.

Similarly, obesity increases the chances of developing type-2 diabetes. But it wasn't clear if overweight confers a survival advantage in diabetics.

Sixteen previous studies got conflicting answers: Some found overweight diabetics had lower mortality; others didn't. But many were hobbled by methodological problems including few patients, short follow-up, or using questionnaires rather than clinic records. The new study tried to do better.

Researchers led by Drs. Stephen Atkin and Pierluigi Costanzo of Britain's University of Hull followed 10,568 patients with type-2 diabetes for an average of nearly 11 years.

Although overweight and obese patients had an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, they were more likely to stay alive than normal-weight diabetics, the researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. (Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25 to 29.9, which would be 146 to 174 pounds for someone 5 feet 4 inches. Normal weight means a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, or 108 to 145 pounds at that height.)

Underweight diabetics had the highest risk of dying during the study, with nearly three times the mortality of normal-weight patients.

Overweight patients had the best survival, being 13 percent less likely to die than normal-weight or obese diabetics.

That result was at odds with a 2014 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that found no survival advantage with extra pounds.

That study, however, used the upper end of normal weight as the comparison. If it had used the full range of 18.5 to 24.9, Costanzo said, "it's likely" the results "would have been similar to ours." One way extra pounds might keep diabetics alive longer is if overweight protects against frailty and osteoporosis, which can kill.

Alternatively, diabetes in lean people might take an especially lethal form. "It's likely those diabetic patients with normal weight have a more aggressive form of type-2 diabetes compared to those who are overweight and obese," Costanzo said.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

Dr. McDonald's, PhD
05-05-2015 06:52pm
“Let’s shove it in”
This rubbish is the kind of studies that would come out of the Marketing department of McDonald’s or Burger King rather than the science community. Overweight people have more risks of heart attaches, organs failure, and other respiratory problems. What is the tag line of the study? “Let’s shove it in”!
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.