MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Vistisen: Our study highlights the complexity of type 2 diabetes. We show that in most people the development of type 2 diabetes is preceded by many years of overweight and not by massive weight gain.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Vistisen: We expected to find different patterns in obesity development, but we were surprised that the majority of those developing diabetes had such a stable weight pattern in the overweight range in the years preceding diabetes.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Vistisen: We hope this study will help clinicians to recognise that other factors than obesity is important in prevention of type 2 diabetes. For instance physical inactivity, smoking, unhealthy diet, genes and maybe environmental pollutants, possibly in interaction with slight overweight.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Vistisen: First of all, our results need to be confirmed in other studies including populations with a different ethnic mix and younger populations. Secondly, researchers should move away from the “one-size fits all” approach when studying risk factors for diabetes, because there are many different pathways leading to this disease. A better understanding of this heterogeneity in diabetes development, especially of the interplay between different risk factors, is needed.