Weight loss can reduce heart disease in type 2 diabetes patients

Washington: Losing a little weight may go a long way, especially for type 2 diabetes patients suffering from cardiovascular problems.

Gaining weight and suffering from obesity are known to be top factors for developing type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body loses its ability to sufficiently process glucose (sugar).

Once a person develops diabetes, doctors prescribe them with dietary adjustments with the purpose of stabilising blood sugar levels and also to attain weight loss because if a diabetic person sheds extra weight, their cardiovascular problems may eventually diminish.

However, researchers from Tufts University in Boston, MA, and the University of Connecticut in Storrs revealed what will happen if a person gains back those extra kilos, reported Medical News Today.

According to the study results published in the ‘Journal of the American Heart Association’ maintaining weight after losing it is equally vital when it comes to keeping cardiovascular problems away.

To answer the question the researchers examined data of around 1,561 individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. They participated in a programme which helped them in losing weight through healthy eating habits and increased physical activity.

The researchers discovered that the participants who regained all or some lost weight increased their risk of developing heart diseases again.

In contrast, people suffering from type 2 diabetes the weight loss of 10% of their initial body weight and those who maintain 75%of that weight for over a duration of four years reaps cardiovascular disease as well lowers the risk related to heart disease.

“Our findings suggest that in addition to focusing on weight loss, increased emphasis should be placed on the importance of maintaining the weight loss over the long term,” said senior author Prof. Alice Lichtenstein.

Losing or maintaining weight for type 2 diabetes patients also has benefits apart from reducing heart diseases risk, such as a drastic decrease or even disappearance of type 2 diabetes.

But the researchers from the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom discovered if it is possible to send type 2 diabetes into complete remission with the help of a less demanding dietary intervention, instead of weight loss surgery.

The study published in the journal of ‘Diabetic Medicine,’ the researchers from Cambridge studied data of 867 people to find out if they achieved at least 10% weight loss within 5 years of type 2 diabetes diagnosis was double when it comes to experience remission at the 5-year follow-up, in comparison to those who had not lost any weight.

“We’ve known for some time now that it’s possible to send diabetes into remission using fairly drastic measures, such as intensive weight loss programs and extreme calorie restriction,” noted the first author of the study Hajira Dambha-Miller, Ph.D.

“These interventions can be very challenging to individuals and difficult to achieve,” she added.

The study’s senior author, Prof. Simon Griffin emphasised on the importance of consistent dietary and lifestyle interventions are in managing or even reversing diabetes.

“This reinforces the importance of managing one’s weight, which can be achieved through changes in diet and increasing physical activity. Type 2 diabetes, while a chronic disease, can lead to significant complications, but as our study shows, can be controlled and even reversed,” he said.