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Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan;34(1):210-5. doi: 10.2337/dc10-0665. Epub 2010 Oct 11.

Prevalence, metabolic features, and prognosis of metabolically healthy obese Italian individuals: the Cremona Study.

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  • 1Division of Metabolic and Cardiovascular Sciences, Istituto Scientifico H San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Some obese individuals have normal insulin sensitivity. It is controversial whether this phenotype is associated with increased all-cause mortality risk.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

Fifteen-year all-cause mortality data were obtained through the Regional Health Registry for 2,011 of 2,074 Caucasian middle-aged individuals of the Cremona Study, a population study on the prevalence of diabetes in Italy. Individuals were divided in four categories according to BMI (nonobese: <30 kg/m²; obese: ≥30 kg/m²) and estimated insulin resistance (insulin sensitive: homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance <2.5; insulin resistant ≥2.5).

RESULTS:

Obese insulin-sensitive subjects represented 11% (95% CI 8.1-14.5) of the obese population. This phenotype had similar BMI but lower waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, triglycerides, and fibrinogen and higher HDL cholesterol than obese insulin-resistant subjects. In the 15-year follow-up, 495 deaths (cardiovascular disease [CVD]: n = 221; cancer: n = 180) occurred. All-cause mortality adjusted for age and sex was higher in the obese insulin-resistant subjects (hazard ratio 1.40 [95% CI 1.08-1.81], P = 0.01) but not in the obese insulin-sensitive subjects (0.99 [0.46-2.11], P = 0.97) when compared with nonobese insulin-sensitive subjects. Also, mortality for CVD and cancer was higher in the obese insulin-resistant subjects but not in the obese insulin-sensitive subjects when compared with nonobese insulin-sensitive subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:

In contrast to obese insulin-resistant subjects, metabolically healthy obese individuals are less common than previously thought and do not show increased all-cause, cancer, and CVD mortality risks in a 15-year follow-up study.

PMID:
20937689
PMCID:
PMC3005463
DOI:
10.2337/dc10-0665
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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