Diabetes Death Risk Increased For Normal-Weight People

diabetes risk of death

Diabetes risk increases with weight as we well know, with Type 2 diabetes being correlated with obesity as opposed to the Type 1 variety, sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes.

Diabetes risk is not the only health problem associated with obesity, which in and of itself confers certain risk factors. But a surprising new study indicates that diabetes and death risk may actually increase for people with Type 2 diabetes who aren’t overweight.

Researchers examined diabetes death risk in those afflicted with Type 2 diabetes, one in eight of whom are of normal weight — that is to say, not obese. And risk of death in the group of people with Type 2 diabetes who were not overweight actually appeared to be higher — a factor researchers say has been observed before.

Study author Mercedes Carnethon is an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and Carnethon explains:

“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… Overweight and obesity confers certain protective effects in end-stage renal disease and heart failure. It’s called the obesity paradox.”

However, Carnethon cautions, being overweight or obese carries far more risk — of diabetes and health-wise in general — overall. The study found that adjusting for lifestyle factors such as smoking, diabetes death risk for thin people was twice that of their overweight counterparts included in the research.

The study on diabetes risk and death was published in the August 8th issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.