Obesity After Age 50 Raises Diabetes Risk
Increased Diabetes Risk Exists to a Lesser Extent After Age 75, Study Finds
Is Obesity Less Risky in Elderly People? continued...
If the impact of obesity on diabetes risk really does decline with age, as the newly published study suggests, this could be seen as more evidence that carrying extra weight is not as dangerous in the elderly as has widely been believed.
But Biggs is not so sure.
“I would be cautious about making too much of this finding until it is confirmed in other studies,” she says.
Geriatric diabetes specialist Medha Munshi, MD, at Boston’s Joslin Diabetes Center, treats mostly patients who are age 75 and older.
Although some of her patients are newly diagnosed, most have been managing their diabetes for many years.
She says she rarely puts her elderly patients on diets, but she does stress the importance of exercise.
“With age, you lose muscle and gain fat,” she says. “When older people try to lose weight simply by dieting they are likely to lose much-needed muscle mass. Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, is important in older people not just for diabetes but for quality of life.”