(HealthDay News) — Normal-weight adults who are diagnosed with new-onset diabetes have an increased mortality risk, compared with overweight/obese adults, according to a study published in the Aug. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Mercedes R. Carnethon, Ph.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues examined the association of weight status with mortality in adults with new-onset diabetes using pooled data from five longitudinal cohort studies involving 2,625 participants (aged older than 40 years).

The researchers found that, overall, 12 percent of adults were normal weight at the time of incident diabetes (range, 9 to 21 percent). Four hundred forty-nine participants died during the follow-up period, including 178 from cardiovascular causes and 253 from noncardiovascular causes. Normal-weight participants had higher rates of total, cardiovascular, and noncardiovascular mortality (284.8, 99.8, and 198.1 per 10,000 person-years, respectively), compared with overweight/obese participants (152.1, 67.8, and 87.9 per 10,000 person-years, respectively). The hazard ratios for normal-weight participants compared with overweight/obese participants were 2.08 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.52 to 2.85) for total mortality, 1.52 (95 percent CI, 0.89 to 2.58) for cardiovascular mortality, and 2.32 (95 percent CI, 1.55 to 3.48) for noncardiovascular mortality, after adjustment for demographics, blood pressure, lipid levels, waist circumference, and smoking status.

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“In summary, adults who were normal weight at the time of diabetes incidence experienced higher mortality than adults who were overweight or obese at diabetes incidence,” the authors write. “These findings are relevant to segments of the U.S. population, including older adults and nonwhite persons (e.g., Asian, black), who are more likely to experience normal-weight diabetes.”

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