THURSDAY, April 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Having normal body weight is crucial in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, regardless of genetic predisposition, according to a study published online April 15 in Diabetologia.

Theresia M. Schnurr, Ph.D., from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues evaluated the association of genetic predisposition, obesity, and unfavorable lifestyle with incident type 2 diabetes using data from 4,729 participants in the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort followed for a median 14.7 years who developed type 2 diabetes and a randomly selected cohort sample of 5,402 individuals.

The researchers found that obesity (body mass index, ≥30 kg/m²) and unfavorable lifestyle were associated with a higher risk for incident type 2 diabetes regardless of genetic predisposition. The effect of obesity on type 2 diabetes risk was much greater (hazard ratio, 5.81), while the effect was more modest for genetic risk (hazard ratio, 2.00) and unfavorable lifestyle (hazard ratio, 1.18). Obesity was associated with more than an eightfold risk for type 2 diabetes for individuals with low genetic risk score and favorable lifestyle versus normal-weight individuals in the same genetic risk score and lifestyle stratum.

“We found that the effect of obesity on type 2 diabetes risk is dominant over other risk factors, highlighting the importance of weight management in type 2 diabetes prevention,” the authors write.

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