Dysglycemia on the Rise in Obese Americans

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Researchers urge serious weight-loss efforts
Researchers urge serious weight-loss efforts

(HealthDay News) — Among obese American adults, dysglycemia is worsening, leading to more diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online July 13 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Fangjian Guo, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Texas in Galveston, and W. Timothy Garvey, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, analyzed data on 18,686 obese adults who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey over almost 30 years. The researchers used body mass index to gauge body fat.

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Only 2 percent of obese adults had ideal cardiovascular health, a figure that remained stable throughout the study period. Between 1988 and 2014, rates of diabetes rose from 11.3 to 19.0 percent. The investigators found that the rate of obese adults without the three key risk factors for cardiovascular disease -- diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension -- held steady at just 15 percent. But the rate of obese adults with all three risk factors rose 37 percent -- to nearly one in four (22.4 percent). Risk for all three factors increased progressively from age 40 on. Young adults in their 20s and 30s had the lowest rate of all three.

"During the past three decades, blood pressure health and blood lipid health remained stable or improved, whereas blood glucose health deteriorated among adult obese population. This resulted in an overall decrease in cardiovascular health status among obese adults and greater risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus," the authors write. "The data argue for interventions targeted to those obese persons who are metabolically unhealthy to stem rising rates of diabetes mellitus."

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