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New study reveals: Overweight diabetics live longer than normal weight ones

by , 10 June 2015

Attention diabetics, this one's for you:

According to a new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, patients with type 2 diabetes who are overweight (note: not obese) will live longer than those who are underweight or “normal weight”.

Study authors refer to this as the “obesity paradox”. A term that suggests overweight or obese people have better chances of withstanding certain medical conditions.

Funny, considering obesity is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

But these new findings are pretty promising. So if you're diabetic, perhaps a few extra kilos won't hurt you after all…

A bit of excess weight could extend your lifespan as a diabetic

Because previous studies showed that overweight patients with cardiovascular disease live longer than normal weight patients with cardiovascular disease, researchers from [where], wanted to  determine if the same could be true about patients with diabetes.
To do so, they followed 10,500 patients with type 2 diabetes and no cardiovascular disease. They followed each patient for an average of 10.6 years. 
The results were interesting…
While researchers found that the overweight and obese patients had an increased risk for cardiovascular events, they also found that those who were overweight had far better survival rates compared to those who were underweight or normal weight.
The authors offer a few possible reasons for the obesity paradox in type 2 diabetes… 
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Here’s how a bit of extra weight can lengthen the lifespan of type 2 diabetics 

First off, type 2 diabetes induced by the metabolic stress of obesity fundamentally differs from that which develops in the absence of obesity.  
Second, patients with type 2 diabetes and a low BMI might have higher tobacco and/or alcohol consumption. These factors contribute to the increase of diabetes and a low BMI.
And finally, doctors usually diagnose obese patients with diabetes early. The reason for this is that doctors usually test obese people for diabetes regularly.
The researchers stress that these findings shouldn’t discourage diabetics from adopting a healthy lifestyle
If you’re underweight, perhaps picking up a few kilos could lengthen your lifespan. But don’t associate weight gain with unhealthy habits like overeating and pigging out. There are healthy ways to pick up weight. For example, weight training or eating more healthy carbs.

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