Lose Belly Fat and Pear-Shaped Body Type to Cut Risks of Diabetes

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WASHINGTON, Feb 15: Feeling the need of losing up your belt, by a slot or two? You might consider keeping a track of your blood glucose level as there might be higher risks of developing diabetes for you, suggests a new study.

Diabetes is growing alarmingly in the world with India as the home of 65.1 million people with the disease, compared to 50.8 million in 2010. Diabetes is a group of disorders characterized by chronic high blood glucose level
(hyperglycemia) due to the body’s failure to produce any or enough insulin to regulate high glucose levels. There are two main types of diabetes; ‘Type 1’ diabetes, which often occurs in children or adolescents, is caused by the body’s inability to make insulin or ‘type 2’ diabetes, which occurs as a result of the body’s inability to react properly to insulin. The sugar disease is posing an enormous health problem to our country. However, medical experts feel that timely detection and right management can go a long way in helping patients lead a normal life.

There are many risk factors for ‘type 2’ diabetes such as age, race, pregnancy, stress, certain medications, genetics or family history, high cholesterol and obesity. However, the single best predictor of ‘type 2’ diabetes is overweight or obesity. Almost 90% of people living with ‘type 2’ diabetes are overweight or have obesity or vice versa, according to the study.

People with a pear-shaped body or lose belly-fat are more prone to ‘type 2′ diabetes concluded the research conducted at Harvard Medical School. The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests a person’s genetic makeup may cause health problems down the road.

Associate professor of Medicine, Sekar Kathiresan, Harvard Medical School said, “People vary in their distribution of body fat – some put fat in their belly, which we call abdominal adiposity, and some in their hips and thighs.” Previous observational studies have uncovered a link between belly fat and Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but fell short of proving cause and effect.

“We tested whether genetic predisposition to abdominal adiposity was associated with the risk for Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease and found that the answer was a firm ‘yes’,” added Kathiresan. Previous observational studies have uncovered a link between belly fat and Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but fell short of proving cause and effect. To investigate further, researchers examined six studies conducted from 2007 to 2015, including some 400,000 participants whose genomes were analyzed. Previous research had identified 48 gene variants associated with waist-to-hip ratio, resulting in a genetic risk score. They found that people with certain genes that predisposed them to higher waist-to-hip ratio also had higher lipids, insulin, glucose and systolic blood pressure
, as well as a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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