(HealthDay News) – While being overweight increases the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes, overweight is also associated with lower mortality in older patients, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, held from Sept. 23–27 in Barcelona, Spain.

Pierluigi Costanzo, MD, from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, and colleagues prospectively analyzed body mass index (BMI) and mortality and cardiovascular morbidity in 12,025 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

During a mean follow-up of 10 years, the researchers found that 34% of patients died, 9% developed acute coronary syndrome, 7% had a cerebrovascular accident, and 6% had heart failure. The risk of acute coronary syndrome increased with increasing BMI. However, while adjusting for age had no effect on the risk of cardiovascular events, higher BMI was associated with lower all-cause mortality in the eldest age tertile (67 years and older).

“In this study, in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, although being overweight was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, higher BMIs were associated with a survival benefit, especially amongst older patients,” Costanzo and colleagues conclude.

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