Few older adults with prediabetes will actually go on to develop type 2 diabetes, new research concludes. prediabetes range, few will actually develop diabetes,” said senior author Elizabeth Selvin, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. “The category of prediabetes doesn’t seem to be helping us identify high-risk people.”
People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range.
The study included nearly 3,500 Americans between 71 and 90 years of age with no history of diabetes. They were initially assessed between 2011 and 2013.
At that time, 59% were deemed prediabetic based on results of the impaired fasting glucose test (IFG). So were 44% who were checked with the glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test.
During follow-ups in 2016-2017, 8% of IFG-defined prediabetics and 9% of HbA1c-defined prediabetics had developed diabetes.
Blood sugar levels in 44% of the IFG group and 13% of the HbA1c group had returned to the normal range by 2016-2017, researchers found.
By that time, 16% of the IFG group and 19% of those in the HbA1c group had died of other causes, according to findings.
Type 2 diabetes leads to chronically high blood sugar, which stresses organs such as the kidneys, weakens the immune system and promotes heart disease and stroke, among other conditions.
Selvin said doctors should instead focus on healthy lifestyle changes and important disease risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Prediabetes is a widely used indicator of increased diabetes risk in younger and middle-aged people.
“It’s very common for older adults to have at least mildly elevated blood glucose levels, but how likely they are to progress to diabetes has been an unresolved question,” Selvin said in a Hopkins news release.
Why Adding on a Few Pounds as You Age Might Be Good for You
For the new study, researchers looked at data from two generations of participants in the Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948. They were grouped into categories based on their weight gain over the years. The study focused on body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, between ages 31 and 80.
Folks who started out at normal weight (BMI: 18.5 to 24.9) but gradually gained with advancing age lived longer than their counterparts who maintained their younger normal weight throughout their life span, the study found.
“For people with normal weight in early adulthood, moderate weight gain into overweight in later adulthood is associated with lower [death] risks compared to those who remain in the range of normal weight over the course of adulthood,” said study lead author Hui Zheng, an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University.
People who are overweight or obese in early adulthood and gain weight have the highest risk of dying early, he said.
But “modest extra body weight in old age, including lean tissue mass and fat mass, might provide protection against nutritional and energy deficiencies, metabolic stresses, the development of wasting and frailty, and loss of muscle and bone density caused by chronic diseases such as heart failure,” Zheng said.
Younger Americans are becoming obese earlier than their parents — and this is concerning, he said.
“The percentage of deaths caused by obesity has increased because the prevalence of unhealthy weight trajectories has increased,” Zheng said.
The findings were recently published online in the Annals of Epidemiology.
Rogers said that the protective effect of some extra weight dates back to caveman days.
“You needed extra padding because if you got left behind by the herd, you needed enough fat stores to survive,” she said. “Caveman days are over, but an old lady who only takes tea and toast may have a normal BMI, yet she is likely frail with low muscle mass and may be less likely to survive as a result.”
Dr. Scott Kahan, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C., summed it all up succinctly.
“A lot of weight gain is unhealthy, but a little weight gain in an otherwise healthy life is perfectly fine,” he said.
So how can you tell if you’re putting on too much weight?
“If you are gaining too much weight, your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar are likely going up, and that suggests it may be too much weight gain,” said Kahan, who wasn’t part of the study.
It’s also how you feel.
“If your back and knees are hurting all the time and you are limited in what you can do because your weight weighs you down, that’s another indication that weight loss may be helpful,” Kahan said. “This is an important study, but don’t go overboard and say it’s OK to gain weight. Try to be healthy and moderate your weight.”
Fat Loss in Face Does Make Folks Look Older: Study
The findings could help plastic surgeons give their patients a more natural look, the study authors said.
For the study, researchers analyzed CT scans of the faces of 19 people, taken at least a decade apart.
The study participants were an average age of 46 at the time of the first scan and 57 on average at the second scan.
The patients weren’t undergoing facelift surgery or other cosmetic procedures. The scans were useful for measuring changes in fat deposits in the midface, which is the area between the eyes and the mouth.
The total volume of facial fat decreased by about 12% at the follow-up scan. Fat volume in the superficial compartment, which is just under the skin, decreased by an average of about 11%, while there was a greater loss in the deep facial fat compartment, an average reduction of more than 18%, the investigators found.
The findings support the volume loss theory, according to the report published in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“In particular, we think that deep facial fat loss removes support from the overlying fat,” said study author Dr. Aaron Morgan, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee.
“That causes deepening of the nasolabial fold, which runs from the nose to the mouth. Meanwhile, fat loss closer to the surface makes the cheeks appear deflated,” he explained in a journal news release.
This could also explain the heaviness of jowls and hollowing around the eyes that can be part of aging, the study authors noted.
“The upper face has less fat to begin with, so fat loss is more apparent. In contrast, the cheek or buccal area has relatively little fat loss, so that area appears fuller as changes occur in other areas of the midface,” Morgan said.
“We think that our findings will help plastic surgeons design more natural approaches to facial rejuvenation, with the aim of re-creating the facial fat distribution of youth,” Morgan added. “This proves there is volume depletion and not just laxity of tissues with aging. So volume replacement should be used in addition to surgical procedures to attempt to recreate the youthful face.”
First, here’s a quick review on how to properly wear a mask. Make sure it:
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, a mask should be worn in all public places and when social distancing isn’t possible. Routine and frequent washing of your masks is recommended. While most of us are trying to stay home more and avoiding public places, sometimes that isn’t possible. If you find yourself wearing your mask more than a few hours total each day, it should be washed before reuse.
How to wash your cloth mask
If your mask is machine-washable, you can include it with your laundry using regular detergent and the warmest appropriate water temperature for the load. In the dryer, use the highest heat setting possible and don’t take it out until it’s completely dry.
If your mask can’t go in the washer or a machine washer isn’t available, you can sanitize it by hand with a bleach solution. First though, make sure the bleach you have is intended for disinfection. Some bleaches are made for colored clothing and might not disinfect properly. After confirming you have the correct bleach, follow these steps:
Other reminders to keep you and your mask hygienic:
Remember to do your part by wearing a mask to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue to practice social distancing and frequent handwashing. These three simple steps are still the best defense we have to reduce transmission. And that’s always in fashion!
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