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Defeat Diabetes
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Average American Has Very High Risk of Diabetes

Posted: Friday, June 23, 2006

Body mass index (BMI), the ratio of body weight to height, is tightly linked to lifetime risk of diabetes.

Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, Dr. K. M. Venkat Narayan and associates at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, calculated the lifetime risk of diabetes according to BMI for subjects between 18 and 84 years old.

A BMI between 20 and 25 is considered normal, whereas values above or below this range represent being under- and overweight, respectively. Obesity is typically defined as a BMI of 30 or greater.

For a normal-weight 18-year-old man, the average lifetime risk of diabetes is 19.8 percent. The risk increases to 29.7 percent for overweight men, 57.0 percent for obese men and 70.3 percent for very obese men.

For normal-weight women at 18 years of age, the lifetime risk is 17.1 percent; for overweight women it is 35.4 percent, for obese women it is 54.6 percent and for very obese women it is 74.4 percent.

"Clearly, intervening to reduce obesity as early in life as possible is our best tool to reduce the risk of diabetes," Narayan told meeting attendees.

CDC co-investigator Dr. Desmond E. Williams presented NHANES data from 1999-2002 on 3,030 individuals without diabetes at the start of the study. The purpose of the study was to investigate an association between early abnormalities in blood sugar levels, also known as "pre-diabetes," and the risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol.

The rate of high blood pressure was 48.3 percent in those with pre-diabetes compared with 31 percent of those without pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetic patients were also at increased risk for obesity and for high cholesterol.

"If we could treat metabolic syndrome," a constellation of symptoms including blood sugar abnormalities, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, co-presenter Dr. David Eddy of Archimedes, Inc. in Aspen Colorado, said, the risk of heart disease and stroke could be reduced by 63 percent.

 

 

Source: Diabetes In Control: Reported at the 66th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association

 
 
 
 
 
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