Having Skinny Legs Could Shorten Your Life Span

Having Skinny Legs Could Shorten Your Life Span

A new study suggests that individuals with thin legs may have a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, thereby shortening their life span. 

Having skinny lower legs, despite a normal body mass index (BMI) could put you at three times higher risk of death due to cardiometabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

A group of researchers collected data from 981 subjects with different BMIs and determined their body fat mass, fat distribution and fat deposition in the liver. Further, they also studied insulin sensitivity, insulin release, and carotid vessel wall thickness, and fitness.

About 18% of the lean participants were found to be metabolically unhealthy. The results suggested that thin lower legs were possibly the strongest predictor of compromised metabolic status among lean individuals. In contrast, for obese people, abdominal fat and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease constituted the important predictors of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The researchers claimed that a gene-related abnormality in fat deposition in the lower limbs of lean people raised the death risk by up to 300%.

Lean body-shape with skinny legs and a normal BMI can be seen in rare diseases such as lipodystrophy in which the body fails to maintain sufficient fat reserves.

The researchers were of the view that these findings could provide evidence for the possible presence of a lipodystrophy-like phenotype in the general population.

Source: Cell Metabolism Journal

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