HealthDay News — Losing weight is consistently associated with reduced type 2 diabetes risk across body mass index (BMI), family history, and genetic risk categories, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in PLOS Medicine.

Michael Wainberg, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues assessed whether weight loss interventions hold benefit for individuals at lower risk for diabetes. The analysis included 287,394 unrelated individuals participating in the UK Biobank with known information regarding diabetes risk factors: BMI, diabetes family history, and genome-wide diabetes polygenic risk score.

The researchers found that while diabetes prevalence increased sharply with BMI, family history of diabetes, and genetic risk, predicted risk reduction from weight loss was strikingly similar across BMI and genetic risk categories. Even among lower-risk individuals, weight loss was predicted to substantially reduce diabetes odds, with a 1-kg/m² BMI reduction associated with a 1.37-fold reduction in diabetes odds among nonoverweight individuals (BMI <25 kg/m²) without a family history of diabetes, similar to that in obese individuals (BMI ≥30 kg/m²) with a family history (1.21-fold reduction).

“Our results support the broad deployment of weight loss interventions to individuals at all levels of diabetes risk,” the authors write.


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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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