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Seniors who gain too much weight are more likely to develop diabetes

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

Individuals who begin gaining excess weight in their 50s and 60s may benefit from being tested for diabetes. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Society has found that seniors who gain weight as they grow older are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.

Researchers from the University of Washington took body mass index (BMI) measurements of more than 4,000 study participants and tracked their medical records for the next 25 years. They found that those who had the largest increase in BMI were between two and six times more likely to develop diabetes.

Mary Biggs, who led the investigation, said that the link between obesity and diabetes has been well established in the general population, but little was known about how the condition may affect seniors.

"Incidence of diabetes in the U.S. has doubled in the past 15 years, and is highest among adults 65 to 79 years of age," she said.

She added that "results of this study affirm the importance of maintaining optimal weight during middle age for prevention of diabetes."

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