Study: Rank and slim - but suddenly heart disease

Being thin alone does not protect against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

Being overweight can promote diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Many people are aware of this fact. But a recent German study shows that around 20 percent of all people with normal body weight or an optimal body mass index (BMI) also have an above-average risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The reason for the increased risk is a metabolic disorder that abnormally distributes fat when it is deposited in the body. But there are also medical recommendations on how to deal with this syndrome.

The risk group is people with the so-called metabolic syndrome. Signs of this syndrome may include abnormal abdominal fat deposits, high blood pressure, fat metabolism disorders, and insulin resistance. Often hormones and the immune system can also be disturbed and sufferers tend to have an increased appetite due to a disturbance in the saturation regulation. A team of researchers from the University Hospital Tübingen and the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases at the Helmholtz Zentrum München recently found in their study that sufferers who show two or more signs of the metabolic syndrome are also at greater risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to develop.

20 percent of the slim suffer from metabolic disorders

"Overall, one speaks of almost 20 percent of slim people with a damaged metabolism," explains cardiologist and sports doctor Werner Brunhuber from the Steyr State Hospital in a press release on the study results. What is particularly striking is the abnormal fat distribution in those affected in the abdomen and liver. Many people with metabolic disorders can also find that the protective cholesterol HDL is too low, which means that the body needs more insulin to achieve normal blood sugar levels. However, a higher sugar intake quickly results in abnormal blood sugar levels.

Slim is healthy - this rule of thumb does not always apply

In the study, the body fat, the fat distribution and the fat content in the liver were examined in the test subjects. The various connections in relation to insulin, blood vessels and physical fitness with the metabolic syndrome were also taken into account. Overall, it turned out: "Slim is healthy - this rule of thumb does not always apply," commented Brunhuber.

Movement can protect

"People who have two or more characteristics of a metabolic syndrome should be carefully examined for possible metabolic disorders," the expert recommends. It is also important to develop precise, yet simple diagnostic tests in order to be able to offer tailor-made measures in the sense of personalized therapies. According to the doctor, a lot of physical exercise can help those affected, as this can break down the abnormally distributed fat deposits and build muscles. (vb)

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