Posted September 02, 2019 11:04:09Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found a strong link between diabetes and obesity in humans, with the obesity-related diabetes epidemic reaching its highest level in the US in the past 15 years.
According to the study published in the journal Diabetes Care, a similar increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, or type 1 diabetes, and obesity has been observed in Europe and Asia in recent decades.
The authors of the study, led by Dr. Jochen Heuer, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSF, were looking at how changes in body mass index (BMI) affect metabolic processes in humans and found a significant link between the two.
They looked at data from more than 12,000 people, of whom about 1,000 were obese and 1,200 were normal weight.
The results were clear.
The obese people who had more diabetes were more likely to be obese, while the normal weight people who were obese had a lower risk of developing diabetes.
They also had more risk factors for developing diabetes including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.
The findings are a reminder that obesity and diabetes are often linked in people with chronic diseases, and the authors say this link should be investigated further.
In their article, the authors describe the prevalence rates of obesity and type 2 Diabetes in the study population as being 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
The study is notable for examining both the prevalence and the risk factors associated with diabetes.
The researchers looked at the diabetes prevalence in a representative sample of the general US population and also examined the diabetes risk factors in a larger cohort of US adults, as part of a larger analysis of the prevalence, risk factors, and co-morbidities of diabetes.
“We were very surprised that the prevalence was so high and the prevalence for diabetes was so low.
The prevalence is high because of the obesity epidemic,” Dr. Heuer said in a press release.”
The other reason why it is so high is because of our population,” Dr Heuer continued.
“We looked at this population because they have more diabetes.
We think the other thing that is really important is that we looked at people who are overweight, but we were also able to look at people of normal weight and see what was different.
The people who have diabetes are actually more likely than normal weight individuals to be overweight, and that’s also important because they’re more likely, because they are more insulin resistant, to develop type 2,” said Dr. Tania D. Schatz, a researcher in the Diabetes Prevention Program at UCSR.
The prevalence of diabetes is also higher among those with hypertension, and in individuals with high blood pressures, Dr. Schetz said.
The diabetes-related co-occurring risk factors that were found to increase the risk for diabetes in people who also have high blood and pulse pressure were smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity and hypercholesterolemia, and having an insulin-dependent diabetic.
“This is a really important finding because we know that the number of people with diabetes increases in populations that are more likely [to have diabetes],” Dr. Sheuer said.
“And it’s also a reason why obesity is a risk factor for diabetes.”
The study found that obesity is associated with the onset and severity of diabetes, even when it is not the cause.
A higher BMI is associated also with a higher incidence of type 1, and even when the BMI is not associated with type 1.
The obesity-associated diabetes-associated risk factors were also associated with obesity and were also higher in those who had diabetes.
“We have seen obesity increase the incidence of diabetes in populations with diabetes,” Dr Schatz said.
“So, it is an important finding, because obesity increases the risk of diabetes.”
Dr. Schitz said that the association between obesity-induced diabetes and the presence of diabetes-specific risk factors is not unique to obesity and related risk factors.
“It’s not a surprise that obesity increases diabetes, because we see it in the populations where it is increasing diabetes,” she said.