By Robin Wulffson MD for EmaxHealth.com
The incidence of type 2 diabetes is on the increase in the United States. New research has zeroed in on causative factors as well as how to reduce them. Most are aware that increased weight—and particularly obesity––increase the risk. However, a new study has evaluated overweight/obesity and two other factors and their relationship to diabetes risk. Another study has reported that long-term ingestion of an anti-diabetic medication is not only safe but also can prevent being stricken with the condition. Both studies were published in the April 2012 edition of the journal Diabetes Care.
Researchers in South Korea and the United Kingdom evaluated three risk factors for type 2 diabetes: insulin resistance overweight/obesity, and fatty liver. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the natural hormone insulin becomes less effective at lowering the blood sugar (glucose) level. Fatty liver (steatosis) is the accumulation of fat in liver cells. In any of these conditions, the resulting increase in blood glucose may raise levels outside the normal range and cause adverse health effects, depending on dietary conditions. The researchers noted that dissociation exists between the three risk factors, which suggested that different mechanisms are involved. Therefore, the aim of the study was to: quantify diabetes risk with different combinations of these risk factors at baseline and to determine whether each is an independent risk factor for diabetes.