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Metabolic risk factors may increase diabetes risk in obese individuals

Category: Diabetes

Obesity may be one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes, but only some overweight individuals end up receiving positive HbA1c tests indicating they have the metabolic condition. A new study explains that the presence of other metabolic risk factors may account for why some obese people develop diabetes while others do not.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis examined the fat tissue of a group of obese participants. Half the group had a condition known as metabolic syndrome. The disease is a collection of symptoms, including elevated blood sugar levels, unhealthy cholesterol, high blood pressure and an extended waistline.

The results showed that the fat tissue of participants with metabolic syndrome produced biomarkers that are associated with insulin resistance and inflammation, two early symptoms of type 2 diabetes. These findings may mean that aspects of metabolic syndrome result in changes in a person's fat tissue that cause it to release toxic chemicals, the researchers concluded.

"This drives home the point that clearly metabolic syndrome is high-risk for obesity and needs to be treated seriously," said Ishwarlal Jialal, who led the study.

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