Gaining weight after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes raises risk of cardiovascular disease

by Sarita Sheth on November 5, 2012

Efforts should be made to minimise an increase in BMI, research shows

People who gain weight in the first 12 months after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are more likely to be at risk from cardiovascular disease, a study in Sweden has found.

Dr Johan Bodegard looked at the association between increased body mass index (BMI) and cardiovascular disease in 38,960 recently diagnosed diabetes patients in 84 primary care centres in Sweden.

Some 8,326 patients aged 35 to 79 had their BMI measured at least twice, at the time of being diagnosed and within 12 months of being diagnosed. After the last BMI measurement they were followed up for 10 years.

After 4.6 years some 53.4% had an unchanged BMI, for 32.3% there was a decrease and for 14.4% there was an increase.

During that first year, 14% of the patients gained at least 1 kg/m2, 32% lost at least 1 kg/m2, and 53% had no change. At baseline, the patients’ average age was 58 years, slightly more than half were men, and average BMI was 31 kg/m2.

About a third of the patients received at least one anti-diabetes drug. Some 197 patients died from cardiovascular disease and 423 patients died overall.

Those with an increased BMI had a 63% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to patients with an unchanged BMI.

‘An increase in BMI during the first year after new onset diabetes is associated with increased long term risk of death due to cardiovascular disease,’ said Bodegard in an abstract presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Berlin.

‘The study also suggests that the level of BMI increase is associated with an elevated risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and every effort should be made to minimise an increase in BMI in diabetes patients,’ added Bodegard, a researcher with AstraZeneca in Södertälje, Sweden.

The analysis was adjusted for baseline differences in age, sex, BMI, prior angina, education, marital status, and glucose lowering drugs.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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