Progression of obesity influences risk of diabetes over life course

March 8, 2018

(HealthDay)—Changes in weight influence the risk of diabetes, with lower risk of diabetes for obese individuals who lose weight versus stable obesity, according to a study published online March 5 in Diabetes Care.

Andrew Stokes, Ph.D., from the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues categorized individuals into four weight-change groups from to midlife: stable non-obese, losing (moved from obese to non-obese), gaining (moved from non-obese to obese), and stable obese. Weight change was related to incident diabetes over 10 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that, compared to those with stable obesity, those who were obese and lost weight had a significantly lower risk of diabetes (hazard ratio [HR], 0.33). Lower risk was also seen for those who were stable non-obese (HR, 0.22) and those in the gaining category (HR, 0.70). Compared with individuals who were stable non-obese, there was evidence of an increased incidence of diabetes among who lost weight; loss was rare and the correlation was not statistically significant. During the 10-year period, an estimated 9.1 percent of observed diabetes cases could have been averted if those who were obese had become non-obese; 64.2 percent of cases could have been averted if the population had maintained a normal .

"The findings from this study underscore the importance of population-level approaches to the prevention and treatment of obesity across the life course of individualS," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson Company), which partially funded the study.

Explore further: Greater weight loss with RYGB in obese with T2DM at three years

More information: Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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