Diabetes is a widespread health condition in the US while affecting every 1 out of 10 individuals. Also, more than 90% of these individuals have diabetes type 2 which usually develops in older age. This disease is characterized by resistance to insulin as the cells stop responding to the insulin produced in the body.
Several factors lead to type 2 diabetes including ethnicity, age, genetic history, and lifestyle. Some of the major lifestyle factors that lead to insulin resistance include an unhealthy diet, smoking, and lack of physical activity. Generally, doctors primarily advise type 2 diabetes patients to change their lifestyle by reducing weight and incorporating a healthy diet.
Diabetes also leads to several chronic health conditions such as heart disease and obesity. It increases the heart failure risk by two times among males and by five times in females. Researchers recently conducted a study to investigate weight loss among people with type 2 diabetes. They conducted a trial to see the effect of a healthy lifestyle as compared to better education and support.
This study was published recently in the medical journal, Circulation.
The researchers analyzed 5,103 individuals who had no history of heart failure when the study started. They also took their measurement to calculate their fat content in the body. The researchers took their weight data when the study started and over 4 years time span. Also, they considered the hospitalization of these individuals due to heart failure in the next 12 months.
Data shows that 257 individuals took a hospital admittance during that one year due to heart failure. The researchers also found that the people who lost fat in their bodies had a lower risk of heart failure. This reduced risk only counts when people lose fat content or reduce waist circumference. However, losing muscle mass does not affect the risk of heart failure among type 2 diabetes patients.
Another study published in Circulation research this year shows that even people with normal weight having fat accumulation around organs have a higher risk of heart failure. Extra fat under the skin and around soft organs contributes to poor heart health in type 2 diabetes patients.
The researchers also suggest that BMI can not tell the risk of heart failure in such patients as it only calculates the overall weight of a person. Such people can have a perfectly healthy weight but still, have an unhealthy fat deposition that increases their poor heart health risk. Meanwhile, fat reduction is a prominent factor in maintaining the health of the heart. They can target fat in particular areas and maintain a healthy diet to prevent heart failure.
The researchers suggest that losing weight generally for overweight people does not do much for their heart health. They noticed a significant difference when people lost the fat surrounding their soft organs. This helped them lower their heart failure risk. They also mention that further research will help them understand if maintaining muscular mass in the body along with losing fat helps in reducing heart failure risk among type 2 diabetes patients.