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Progression of Obesity Influences Risk of Diabetes Over Life Course

Last Updated: March 08, 2018.

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.

THURSDAY, March 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- 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 young adulthood 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 obese individuals who lost weight; 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 body mass index.

"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.

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