Overweight twins are more likely to get type 2 diabetes | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Overweight twins are more likely to get type 2 diabetes

Overweight twins have an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes as compared to heart attacks and mortality, say a new study.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 03, 2016 14:25 IST
Twins

For the study, the researchers compared health data from 4,046 monozygotic twin pairs with different levels of body fat, as measured in BMI.(Shutterstock)

Twins with a high body mass index (BMI) are more vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes than they are to heart attacks or untimely death, finds a new study.

For the study, the researchers compared health data from 4,046 monozygotic twin pairs with different levels of body fat, as measured in BMI. Genetically identical siblings with different BMI provide researchers with a unique opportunity to evaluate obesity-related health risks that are independent of genetic factors.

Read: Rare conjoined twins share heart, lungs and kidneys

During a follow-up period of on average 12.4 years, differences between the twins were compared when it comes to incidents of mortality, heart attack and type 2 diabetes.

The results clearly showed that the twin siblings with a higher BMI did not have an increased risk of mortality or heart attack compared to their thinner counterparts, suggested the study.

Twin siblings with a higher BMI do not have an increased risk of mortality or heart attack compared to their thinner counterparts. (Shutterstock)

The results showed that among twin siblings with a higher BMI (mean value 25.1), there were 203 heart attacks (5 per cent) and 550 deaths (13.6 per cent) during the follow-up period while among twin siblings with a lower BMI (mean value 23.9), there were 209 heart attacks (5.2 per cent) and 633 deaths (15.6 per cent) during the same period.

Among the 65 twin pairs in the study who had a BMI difference of 7 or higher and where the larger twin siblings had a BMI of 30 or higher, there were still no noticeably increased risk of mortality or heart attack associated with a higher BMI.

Read: Mumbai’s conjoined twins don’t require surgery urgently, say doctors

“The results suggest that lifestyle changes that reduce levels of obesity do not have an effect on the risk of death and heart attack, which contradicts conventional understandings of obesity-related health risks,” said Peter Nordström, researcher at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation at Umeå University.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine however showed that a higher BMI is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

“The study does show is that there’s a strong association between obesity and diabetes, which leads us to conclude that weight reduction interventions can be more effective against diabetes than when it comes to reducing the risk of heart attack and mortality,” added Nordström.

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