Normal weight adults with new-onset diabetes may be at a greater risk of death than their overweight/obese counterparts, suggests a study.
A group of researchers gathered data from five different studies and identified 2,625 people with diabetes, all of whom were above 40 years of age. A fasting glucose of 126 mg/dL or greater or newly initiated diabetes medication with concurrent evaluation of body mass index (BMI) were used for establishing diabetes diagnosis.
During the study, nearly 10% of those with new-onset diabetes were considered to have a normal weight (BMI 8.5 to 24.99) at the time of diagnosis. The researchers suggested that although being overweight (BMI >=25) heightens the risk for developing diabetes, additional factors such as family history, ethnicity and age may also contribute significantly.
The results demonstrated that people with normal-weight had a higher total and noncardiovascular death rate than those who were overweight/obese. Furthermore, older adults and nonwhite diabetics were more likely to have a normal-weight.
Contrary to the usual expectation of doctors, it is quite possible that normal-weight people may develop diabetes, and may be at a high risk of death, especially if they are older adults. The researchers further added that aging and diversification of the population could increase the number of cases of normal weight diabetes in the near future.
The researchers were of the view that people with normal weight and newly-diagnosed diabetes should consult their doctor about managing diabetes better as well as their risk for heart diseases.