In a recent study at the German Center for Diabetes Research, researchers found that obesity and weight gain can lead to vascular disorders, the leading cause of disease and death for people with type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in Diabetologia. One author is Elli Polemiti.
Successful weight loss is considered to be an integral part of the therapy for type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, studies keep appearing that question the importance of losing weight.
In particular, studies providing comparative data between microvascular and macrovascular diseases have so far been lacking.
Microvascular disease affects the small blood vessels and can cause irreversible damage to kidneys, nerves and eyes, and thus lead to dialysis, amputation, and blindness.
Macrovascular injury, on the other hand, affects the large blood vessels and promotes heart attacks and strokes.
In this study, the team examined whether a BMI change after a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is linked to the occurrence of micro-and macrovascular complications.
Over a period of ten years, they examined about 1,000 participants with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes who were free of other chronic diseases.
They found that obesity can disrupt the function of the smallest blood vessels, arterioles, and capillaries.
Each five-point higher BMI at the time of diabetes diagnosis was linked to a 21% higher risk of microvascular complications.
The team also studied the effects of weight changes after a diabetes diagnosis.
Doctors routinely recommend that overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes lose at least 5% of their body weight to improve their metabolic condition.
Weight loss can lead to improved blood pressure, blood lipid, and blood glucose levels.
The results reinforce the recommendations for weight management: the greater the weight loss after diagnosis, the lower the risk for microvascular complications in type 2 diabetes.
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