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Study finds adding some weight may lower death risk for diabetes patients

New research reveals that for individuals with diabetes over the age of 65, adding some weight could reduce the risk of death. Learn more about this surprising finding and its implications for managing diabetes and cardiovascular health.

Written By : Health Desk Edited By : Muskan Gupta
New Delhi
Published on: March 31, 2024 16:20 IST
lower death risk
Image Source : GOOGLE Study finds adding some weight may lower death risk

For individuals navigating the complexities of type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy body weight has long been a cornerstone of management. Yet, recent research sheds new light on weight management strategies, particularly for those aged over 65.

A study based on health data from the UK Biobank suggests that while keeping an ideal body mass index (BMI) is crucial for younger adults with type 2 diabetes, older individuals may have different considerations. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the study reveals that those over 65 may benefit from being "moderately overweight" to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease-related mortality.

The findings, spearheaded by Dr. Shaoyong Xu from Xiangyang Central Hospital in China, challenge the one-size-fits-all approach to weight management in type 2 diabetes. For adults aged 65 and younger, maintaining a BMI within the normal range (23-25) was associated with the lowest risk of cardiovascular mortality. However, for those over 65, a BMI of 26-28, indicating moderate overweight, was linked to the lowest risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

“Importantly, we demonstrate that optimal BMI for people with type 2 diabetes varies by age, independent of traditional cardio-metabolic risk factors,” Dr. Xu added. For older individuals, the study suggests that maintaining a moderate overweight status may be more beneficial than striving for weight loss.

This revelation carries significant implications for healthcare practitioners and individuals grappling with type 2 diabetes. It underscores the need for personalised approaches to weight management, tailored to age and individual health circumstances.

However, it's crucial to note that maintaining a healthy weight remains paramount for reducing cardiovascular risk, particularly for those with type 2 diabetes who are inherently predisposed to such complications. The study, which analysed data from over 22,000 UK Biobank participants with type 2 diabetes, underscores the importance of continued research in refining our understanding of weight-related health outcomes.

As the field progresses, future investigations may delve deeper into measures of central obesity, such as waist circumference, to further enhance risk assessment and management strategies.

(with IANS inputs)

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