What We Never Knew About Diabetes

A recent study from Umea University in Sweden, published in JAMA Internal Medicine has come up with some impressive results. In one part of the study, researchers were able to discover that in a group of 4046 genetically identical twins, the twin with a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) does not have an increased risk of mortality or heart disease. At the same time, they discovered that losing weight might not have any effect on reducing your chances of suffering from a heart attack. Does this mean that we are given the green light to load up on chips, burgers and all things fatty and decadent?

That last one comes as a big surprise since people associate weight loss with helping to diminish the risk of suffering from a heart attack as the disease is something experienced often by people with high BMI. However, while the study shows that losing weight may not mean lowering one’s risk of suffering from a heart attack, it is still useful for combating diabetes.

Peter Nordstrom, a researcher at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation at Umeå University, said that the results of their study could be used to help reduce the chances of a person developing Type 2 diabetes. That makes sense as type 2 diabetes is inherently tied to other heart diseases that a person might develop. So even if losing weight doesn’t decrease the risk of a heart attack, then you’d at least be able to stop yourself from developing other heart-related diseases.

As for the twins study, it was performed by Nordstrom with the goal of seeing if the similarities in genetics between twins could influence their health and chances of having heart problems. To make sure of this, they gathered only genetically identical twins with the ages ranging from 42 to 92 for both genders, with varying degrees of BMI levels to get more accurate results.

Results showed that the twins with a higher BMI had no more risk of suffering a heart attack than their thinner counterparts. However, the studies also showed that the ‘fatter’ twin did have a higher danger of developing type 2 diabetes.

These tests are interesting, as they show us that we’ll need to start looking at health in a few dimensions instead of merely one’s size which is linked to one’s BMI. Of course, you should still strive to live a healthier life, but it also makes us realise that there are things that just can’t be solved apparently as it boils down to your genes.

Photo Credits: The Gloss, Lean It Up, Natural Society

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