Study finds shorter people at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes

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According to a study published in the journal Diabetologia, shorter people are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Researchers found that the risk of diabetes decreased by 33% in women and 41% in men for every three additional inches (about 10cm) in height.

Partially, higher health risk in shorter people is relative with the higher liver fat content and a greater percentage of risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, said one of the authors Matthias Schulze. 

However, a diabetes researcher and NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing associate dean Gail Melkus, said that the study was “a piece of the pie” in studying the illness. 

“I think that the conclusions have to be cautiously interpreted because it’s a secondary data analysis, meaning they didn’t get a group of people and follow them going forward,” she told CNN in an interview. 

Therefore, this study, according to her, posits an interesting question of whether short stature should be added as a risk factor, apart from family history and obesity, for examining type 2 diabetes. Further research still has to be done. 

On the other hand, Melkus said short individuals should not automatically assume that they are intended to have diabetes, nor should tall individuals be confident that they are safe from having the disease, given that other risk factors also affect them. 

“It’s not just one risk factor that we need to consider when screening people for any health condition,” she said.

As of 2018, there are more than 425 million people worldwide who are suffering from the illness and the International Diabetes Federation expects it to go up to 629 million 2045.

There are currently two existing types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. 

People with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, don’t make sufficient insulin, so they have to take it to survive.

On the other hand, those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are able to produce insulin, but only inadequate that’s why glucose remains in the blood. This type is highly associated with obesity and eventually can lead to blindness, heart disease or stroke, and kidney damage. 

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