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Consider body fat distribution in type 2 diabetes screening say researchers

By Editor
24th April 2018
Research, Type 2 diabetes Type 2 prevention

Integrating body mass index (BMI) with body fat percentage can improve screening of type 2 diabetes, an American study has concluded.

Researchers from the University of Florida suggest the move could also boost prevention efforts in people currently considered healthy and avoid penalties and stigmatisation of other groups classified as high risk of abnormal blood glucose.

The cross-sectional study, published by BMJ Open, examined the value of percent body fat (%BF) with BMI to assess the risk of abnormal blood glucose (ABG) among US adults who were normal weight or overweight.

The data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2006, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participants were aged 40 and older and had not been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The study population was classified into four groups: (1) normal weight with normal %BF, (2) normal weight with high %BF, (3) overweight with normal %BF and (4) overweight with high %BF.

The paper reported that the resulted showed: “64 per cent of population with normal BMI classification had a high %BF. Prevalence of ABG in normal-weight group with high %BF (13.5 per cent) is significantly higher than the overweight group with low %BF (10.5 per cent, P<0.001).

“In an unadjusted model, the OR of ABG was significantly greater in adults at normal BMI with high %BF compared with individuals at normal weight with low %BF. In an adjusted model controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, first-degree-relative diabetes, vigorous-intensity activities and muscle strengthening activities, risks of ABG were greater in population with normal weight and high %BF (OR 1.55, 95 per cent CI 1.01 to 2.38) and with overweight and low %BF (OR 1.17, 95 per cent CI 0.69 to 1.98, P<0.05).”

The researchers concluded: “Integrating BMI with %BF can improve in classification to direct screening and prevention efforts to a group currently considered healthy and avoid penalties and stigmatisation of other groups that are classified as high risk of ABG.”

To view the open access article, click here.

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