New research has found that being slightly overweight may actually protect people with type 2 diabetes from an early death.
The research found that diabetics who are considered to be overweight are 13 per cent less likely to die prematurely than those of a normal weight or those who are obese, according to scientists.
The study looked at several different pieces of research within the subject, many of these studies were found to have conflicting conclusions relating to being overweight and diabetes but by following a methodical procedure the data was re-examined to find that there were similarities.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, some of the previous pieces of research were found to have problems including methodological problems where only a few patients were examined, short follow-up, or using questionnaires rather than clinic records, the researchers claim.
As part of the new study, the researchers followed 10,568 patients with type 2 diabetes for an average of nearly 11 years, helping to cast away any doubts raised by small patient group numbers or by only conducting research over a short period of time.
The researchers categorised defined normal weight as having a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9 and defined ‘overweight’ as having a BMI of 25 to 29.9.
According to the Daily Mail, while overweight and obese patients had an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, they were more likely to live longer than normal weight diabetics. Underweight diabetics had the highest risk of dying during the study, with nearly three times the death rate of normal weight patients. Overweight patients had the best survival, being 13 per cent less likely to die than normal weight or obese diabetics.
According to the researchers, from the University of Hull, a possible explanation for the results could be that being overweight protects against frailty and osteoporosis, which can lead to an earlier death.
It is also possible that because diabetes in overweight people is common that those who have the disease when they are slimmer could be more likely to have a more severe type of diabetes.
The co-author of the study, Dr Pierluigi Costanzo, said: ‘It’s likely those diabetic patients with normal weight have a more aggressive form of type 2 diabetes compared to those who are overweight and obese.’