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Obesity shortens diabetics' lives by up to 8 years: study
3/19/2004
 
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LONDON: Obese people with diabetes face the risk of having their lives shortened by up to eight years, say British researchers.

Increased risk of death has been shown before, but the eight-year figure is relatively new, said Professor Ross Lawrenson of the University of Surrey in Guildford, southern England.

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The research, presented at the Diabetes UK medical conference in Birmingham, England, also showed people with diabetes have double the risk of dying.

Professor Lawrenson said a high body mass index (BMI), the standard measure for calculating obesity, is a leading risk factor for people suffering from diabetes.

BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilogrammes by height in metres squared.

A BMI of more than 30 is considered obese while more than 35 is severely obese.

Professor Lawrenson and his colleagues used a government research database to study 44,188 patients with Type 2, or adult onset, diabetes.

Excess weight is the most common and avoidable risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of insulin as weight increases.

To compensate, the pancreas produces more insulin which then causes insulin resistance.

Sufferers with Type 1 diabetes produce little or no insulin.

It is more common in children and adolescents.

Medical experts say a five to 10 percent weight loss can reduce the risk of diabetes and other related illnesses such as macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, leg ulcers and high cholesterol.

There is no cure for diabetes but it can be controlled through diet and exercise, oral medication or insulin injections. - CNA


 
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