Diabetes Mellitus and Obesity

  • E. L. Bierman
Conference paper


One of the ways obesity increases the risk of atherosclerosis is through its association with diabetes mellitus, a potent cause of premature, accelerated, and severe atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. There is an intimate relationship between these two disorders, since most diabetics are obese (1). In terms of the new Diabetes Data Group classification of diabetes, more than three quarters of Western diabetic populations are obese type II diabetics. Data from the Joslin Clinic for almost 5,000 diabetics over the age of 20, suggests that at least 50% of males and 60% of females are more than 20% overweight defined by standards applied to the nondia- betic population. Furthermore, epidemiologic studies have shown that the prevalence of diabetes in a population is a direct function of the average weight of that population (2). Genetic susceptibility appears to play a major role in this relationship since obesity appears to unmask diabetes in those susceptible individuals with a family history of diabetes. Although the degree of obesity in an individual subject appears to influence the severity of glucose intolerance and hyperglycemia in a population, the duration of obesity rather than its degree appears to be the more closely related determinant (1). The reason becomes clear from an examination of the pathophysiological basis for the relationship between obesity and diabetes.


Obese Type Acute Insulin Response High Density Lipopro High Plasma Insulin Level Extrahepatic Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. L. Bierman

There are no affiliations available

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