Obesity and weight gain later in life may increase risk for type 2 diabetes
A study published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association
reports that people over age 65 who are obese, carry excess fat around the waist or gain weight later in life have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
Lead investigator Mary Biggs and her colleagues from the University of Washington explored the relationship between these risk factors in 4,193 men and women over the age of 65.
They found that body mass index, fat mass and waist circumference were all strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.
"For each measure, there was a graded increase in the risk of diabetes with increasing quintiles of adiposity," the authors wrote in their paper. "Participants in the highest category of adiposity had [up to] a 6-fold increased risk of developing diabetes. We found no evidence of significant statistical interaction by sex or race."
The team discovered that weight gain later in life - after the age of 50 - correlated with a 3-fold greater risk of developing the condition, regardless of their baseline body mass index.
They concluded that weight control remains important in reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes among adults over the age of 65.