Body Shape May Be Linked To Diabetes
Being pear or apple shaped means one may likely develop heart disease or diabetes. Researchers from Harvard Medical School has found the genetic predisposition to abdominal adiposity was associated with the risk for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Abdominal adiposity refers to the distribution of body fat in a person's belly, hips and thighs. The study was published in the journal of the American Medical Association. It could prompt a new screening method for life-threatening illnesses.
According the The Marshall Town, the team of experts examined six studies conducted from 2007 to 2015. It included data that mapped the complete DNA of 434,140 participants whose genomes were analyzed. Previous research found 48 gene variants were associated with waist-to-hip ratio, as a result a genetic risk score was developed.
Scientists said belly fat wraps around the body's vital organs and produces hormones and other chemicals that manipulate blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels which are controlled by insulin.
According to GEO TV, the study found that people with higher waist-to-hip ratios, or apple sized that are rounder around the middle, had higher lipids, insulin, glucose and systolic blood pressure. They also had a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Some individuals store proportionally more fat around their visceral organs (apples) than on their thighs and hips. The researchers found genetically predisposed or apple shaped people were more at risk for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
"These results illustrate the power of using genetics as a method of determining the effects of a characteristic like abdominal adiposity on cardiometabolic outcomes," said lead author Connor Emdin, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital. The findings may lead to development of drugs designed to target belly fat, and perhaps lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.