Being small can make you more susceptible to type 2 diabetes: Every four centimeters & # 39; reduces the silent killer's risk by up to 40% because their bodies process glucose better & # 39;
- Short people have a higher liver fat content, blood pressure and inflammation
- German researchers say these factors put smaller people at risk
- While tall people have greater insulin sensitivity and more efficient beta cells
Tall people can be protected against type 2 diabetes, research suggests.
Each additional four inches (10 cm) in height lowers the risk of developing the condition by 41 percent for men and 33 percent for women.
The researchers – from the German Institute for Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke – believe that this is because short people have higher liver fat levels, blood pressure and inflammation.
And tall people have greater insulin sensitivity and more efficient beta cells – a type of cell that is found in the pancreas and produces insulin.
Tall people can be protected against type 2 diabetes, with each additional four inches (10 cm) in height reducing the risk of developing the condition by 41% for men and 33% for women
The researchers, who followed 28,000 people, said that height was a "useful predictive marker" for the risk of diabetes.
WHAT ARE TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar level of a person becomes too high.
It is thought that more than 4 million people in the UK have some form of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight and it is more likely that you will get it if it is in the family.
The condition means that the body does not respond well to insulin – the hormone that controls the uptake of sugar in the blood – and is unable to properly regulate blood glucose levels.
Excess fat in the liver increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, because the build-up makes it more difficult to control glucose levels and the body is also more resistant to insulin.
Weight loss is the key to reducing liver fat and getting symptoms under control.
Symptoms include fatigue, thirst, and frequent urination.
It can lead to more serious problems with nerves, vision and the heart.
Treatment usually involves changing your diet and lifestyle, but in more serious cases, medication may be needed.
Source: NHS Choices; Diabetes.co.uk
They wrote in the medical journal Diabetologia and said: & # 39; Part of this reverse association can be caused by longer-length associations with lower liver fat content and a more favorable profile of cardiometabolic risk factors, especially blood fats, adiponectin and C-reactive protein. & # 39;
They discovered that the association of height with diabetes risk appeared to be stronger in people of normal weight, with an 86 percent lower risk for men per every four centimeters of height, and 67 percent lower risk for women.
In overweight or obese people, every extra four centimeters was associated with a 36 percent lower diabetes risk for men and 30 percent lower risk for women.
They added: "This may indicate that a higher diabetes risk with a larger waist circumference counteracts beneficial effects with regard to height, regardless of whether a larger waist circumference is due to growth or to consuming too many calories."
The authors also said that the increased risk in shorter individuals may be due to a higher liver fat content and a "less favorable profile of cardiometabolic risk factors" – such as blood pressure.
They added: "Our findings suggest that short people may have higher cardiometabolic risk factor levels and have a higher diabetes risk than tall people.
"Our study also suggests that early interventions to reduce length-related metabolic risk throughout life should probably focus on determinants of growth in sensitive periods during pregnancy, early childhood, puberty and early adulthood, and take into account potential gender differences. "
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