Washington: Leaner or normal weight adult diabetics have a higher death rate than their overweight or obese counterparts with the same disease, says a study. The Northwestern University study found that normal-weight or thinner diabetics experienced both significantly higher total and non-cardiovascular mortality than overweight participants.

Thinner adults with type-2 diabetes have been under-studied because those who typically develop the disease are overweight or obese. In this study, about 10 percent of those with new-onset diabetes were at a normal weight.

Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age may play a role, according to a university statement.

"It could be that this is a very unique subset of the population who are at a particularly high risk for mortality and diabetes, and it is possible that genetics is a factor with these individuals," said Mercedes R. Carnethon, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the study.

"Many times physicians don't expect that normal-weight people have diabetes when it is quite possible that they do and could be at a high risk of mortality, particularly if they are older adults or members of a minority group," Carnethon said.

Researchers analyzed data from five cohort studies and identified 2,625 U.S. men and women over the age of 40 who were determined to have diabetes at the start of the studies.


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