Diabetes patients often experience lasting weight loss – University of Copenhagen

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16 April 2015

Diabetes patients often experience lasting weight loss

Diabetes

New Danish research from the University of Copenhagen challenges assumptions about weight loss and patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The research findings, which have just been published in the international journal PLOS ONE, show that the diagnosis can actually give rise to lasting weight loss.

Patients with type 2 diabetes are often overweight and struggle to shed the extra kilos. At least, this has been the assumption until now for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, new Danish research from the University of Copenhagen shows that in reality, this is not the case at all. Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes often experience lasting weight loss, even if obese.

“Our research challenges the common misconception that type 2 diabetes precludes lasting weight loss. We can see from our research findings that most patients actually lose weight, and maintain their lower weight. The research shows that, despite being diagnosed with diabetes, patients can lose weight, and that as doctors we must change how we perceive weight loss in relation to the disease,” says one of the driving forces behind the study, Rasmus Køster-Rasmussen, PhD, from the Research Unit for General Practice at the University of Copenhagen.

The reason for the weight loss has not been thoroughly studied, but according to Rasmus Køster-Rasmussen, it can be due either to the fact that patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes feel more motivated to lose weight, or because the weight loss is a consequence of having the disease.

Previous obesity not significant

The study comprises 885 patients aged 40 years and over who were all newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The patients were weighed at the time of their diagnosis and again at a six-year follow-up. At the time of the diagnosis, the average weight of the patients was 82 kg, and six years later it was 2 kg less.

Regardless of their age and whether they had been putting on or losing weight before being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, by far the majority of the patients experienced lasting weight loss.

Contact: Rasmus Køster-Rasmussen
Mobile: +45 50 59 98 66