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Overweight type-2 diabetes patients live longer than those of normal weight, according to a new study conducted in Qatar.
The study conducted by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) was led-by researcher Stephen Atkin in partnership with Pierluigi Costanzo, one of his former colleagues at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.
The study – The Obesity Paradox in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Relationship of Body Mass Index to Prognosis: A Cohort Study – has been published in the prestigious academic journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar is a partnership between Cornell University and Qatar Foundation.
The research found that although overweight patients had a higher chance of having a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or a stroke, they were three times less likely to die of a cardiovascular event than patients of normal weight, while patients with low body weight had the highest mortality risk, according to a college statement.
This phenomenon, known to researchers as the ‘obesity paradox’, had been investigated by earlier studies, but none that were based on such comprehensive, long-term data.
Atkin’s research, which involved intensive analysis of the medical records of 10,568 type-2 diabetes patients, tracked an average of approximately 11 years.
Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9, while normal weight is defined as a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9. Obese people have a BMI of 30 or above.
“The fact remains that overweight patients are more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke, so doctors still recommend that patients should try to maintain a weight that is within the normal range. Prevention is still better than a cure,” he said.