Diabetes Type 2 Can Happen Even in Non-Obese Men

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In a new study conducted by clinical researchers in Scotland, it was found out that men develop type 2 diabetes even with a lower BMI measurement, as compared to women. This finding may explain why there are countries wherein diabetes is more common in men than among women.

It is a well established fact that being overweight and obese is a big factor in the development of diabetes type 2, however this study was able to prove that even with a lesser weight gain than women, they can develop the condition. The study was conducted by the group of Professor Naveed Sattar of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

The Body Mass Index or BMI is a measurement of a person’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squared. In health research, it is used to measure obesity, overweight or underweight statuses of an individual.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, diabetes is caused by a problem in the way your body makes or uses insulin. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells, where it is stored and later used for energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs slowly over time. Most people with the disease are overweight when they are diagnosed. Increased fat makes it harder for your body to use insulin the correct way. Type 2 diabetes can also develop in people who are thin. This is more common in the elderly. Family history and genes play a large role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your risk. See also: Type 2 diabetes for a list of risk factors.

This study showed that men need not be overweight and obese like women in order to develop the said disease. Simply put, “In other words, men appear to be at higher risk for diabetes,” said Sattar. In their study, Sattar and his colleagues used data taken from 51,920 men and 43,137 women in Scotland with Type 2 Diabetes. Their BMIs were compared and analyzed against their age and smoking status. They found out that the average BMI among women with DM was 33.69 while among men, it was 31.83. As the age groups went younger, the gap between the BMIs became wider.

Sattar theorized that this may have happened due to the way fats around the body are distributed in men, compared to women. Healthy people without diabetes tend to have their fats deposited in the abdomen and liver as compared to women who save their fats in their subcutaneous layers of the skin, thus putting women at lesser risk for diabetes.

According to Dr. Victoria King, Head Researcher at Diabetes UK said that this finding “gives people a greater insight as to what we can do to improve the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes.”

 

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