People with prediabetes may avoid or postpone type 2 diabetes by adopting a healthier lifestyle and diet, and by weight loss. According to the fresh thesis supervised by Margus Lember and Tarvo Rajasalu, seven percent of Estonians suffer from type 3 glucose regulation disorder i.e. diabetes.
As also revealed by the study, a quarter of adult Estonians have metabolic syndrome, the risk of which increases due to obesity and a «seated» lifestyle.
«With people suffering from metabolic syndrome, the risk of type 2 diabetes if five times higher, and risk of cardiovascular diseases at least twice as high,» said Ms Eglit.
Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed with people who have at least three of the following five criteria: too wide waistline, low level of good cholesterol, high blood pressure, high level of triglyceride (a type of blood fat – edit), and diabetes or high blood sugar at empty stomach.
Even with the strong correlation between obesity and the aforementioned sicknesses, not all obese are plagued by these.
Possibly, these people should thank their high levels of a «good» fatty tissue hormone, the adiponectin. «As opposed to other hormones produced in fatty tissue, adiponectin provides protection both against diabetes and metabolic syndrome,» explained Triin Eglit.
There are 12 percent of such «healthy obese» among adults of Estonia. «They are obese and yet totally healthy metabolically. That had no disorders whatsoever,» said the doctor. «Interestingly, their adiponectin level resembled that of people with normal weight, and was higher that with the sick obese,» said Ms Eglit.
«Still, with obesity there are substantial risks of sleep apnea and osteoarthritis, for instance – thus, it is advisable to even the metabolically healthy obese to try and lose weight,» said Ms Eglit.
Triin Eglit was also interested in possible gender-specific nuances of correlations between adiponectin and metabolic risk factors.
Turns out, males aged 20 to 44, in Estonia, have a substantially higher percentage of metabolic syndrome that women of the same age.
Even with various correlations found by Ms Eglit regarding links between good fat hormones and various metabolic risk factors, it provided no answers for causes thereof.
While there have been studies conducted elsewhere in the world regarding links between adiponectin and sickness with the obese, research had never been conducted regarding adiponectin of high-molecular weight and metabolic syndrome.
«I am not saying that a new medicine may be developed on basis of my thesis. We did not conduct lab tests, you see. But surely this is a starting point for further research, possibly explaining causes and effects of the lings so far discovered,» said Triin Eglit.