News April 2016

Research: Diabetes can lower your life expectancy

A new Australian clinical study published on 14 April, 2016 in the reputed Journal Diabetologia has found that men and women with either type I or type II diabetes have a lower life expectancy and a greater rate of disability as compared to those who do not have diabetes.

According to the lead author Dr Dianna Magliano, individuals over the age of 50 who suffer from diabetes spend around 60% of the lives living with some form of disability. This disability was worse in women as compared to men.

Interestingly, on an average, women at the age of 50 years who suffer from diabetes may live up to an additional 34 years but spend around 21 years of that living with some degree of disability. On the other hand, men at the age of 50 may expect to live another 30 years and spend around 17.3 years of that with disability.

With regards to life expectancy, women with diabetes had an estimated life expectancy of 33.9 years at the age of 50 with a loss of around 3.1 years. Men had an estimated life expectancy of 30.2 years at the age of 50 the loss of 3.2 years. However, the authors are very clear in reiterating this fact that these statistics must not be interpreted as a method of predicting how long one would live if they have diabetes.

With over 400 million + individuals suffering from diabetes all over the world, there are still great deal of research that needs to be performed. The contributions of diabetes are many and each of these can contribute to the reduced longevity and the increased incidence of disability. Research is still needs to be conducted on how exactly diabetes can cause disability and what measures can be taken to prevent this from occurring. This way, new interventional strategies can be developed that can allow patients with diabetes to live a long and fruitful life with a lower incidence of disability.

‘Skinny fat’ can increase your risk of diabetes

You may be thin or skinny but if you are from an Asian descent, you are still at an increased risk of developing diabetes. It is a common misconception that having excess body fat alone is a risk when it comes to developing high blood sugar and diabetes but the fact that the matter is that it is not just the fact the outside but the fat on the inside i.e. the fat around the organs that plays an important role. In other words, you may be thin and skinny, but if you have high levels of intra-abdominal fat than your risk of diabetes increases remarkably.

Clinical studies have shown that Asian population groups tend to have less muscle and more fat as compared to white European groups. However, the incidence of diabetes is significantly higher in Asian population groups. The primary reason for this occurring is the presence of a phenomenon called insulin resistance by the body does not respond to the insulin being secreted by the pancreas. Over a period of time, insulin resistance can lead to increased blood glucose levels which ultimately lead to the development of diabetes.

Being skinny does not necessarily mean you are healthy. However, following a healthy diet and performing a regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing diabetes significantly. Changes such as cutting off rice from the diet and replacing it with more healthy foods with a lower GI index can all aid in better blood sugar control even if you do not suffer from diabetes. Making these lifestyle changes is essential given how diets have changed over the years and ‘fast foods’ have now taken over the world.

Healthy choices include increasing the amount of vegetables, reducing salt and oil intake and consuming lean meat (if you are a non-vegetarian). Making these choices can improve your longevity and your overall health

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