The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 13 No. 1 • February 2010

Adipocyte Size Predicts Risk of
Type 2 Diabetes in Women

As the article above explains, senescence is associated with an increase in cell size due to hyperactive growth along with cell cycle blockade. Consistent with that, a new paper1 reports that enlarged subcutaneous abdominal adipocytes (fat cells), along with the amount and distribution of body fat, predicts an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In the population studied (a Swedish cohort of 1302 women), increased size of femoral adipocytes also acted as predictors of type 2 diabetes.

The authors note that, in an earlier study, enlarged subcutaneous abdominal adipocytes also predicted the development of type 2 diabetes in Pima Indians (Arizona) with normal glucose tolerance.

The Swedish women who had the larger abdominal adipocytes at baseline had an age/heredity adjusted hazard ratio (for developing type 2 diabetes) of 1.91 as compared to 1 for the women with smaller abdominal adipocytes at baseline. These data were obtained from a 25 year followup (1976 to Dec. 31, 2001) of a subset of the original 1302 women that included 184 women randomly sampled from the cohort along with 61 additional cohort members with a body mass index ≥30 (obese). The authors report that as of the last followup (2000–2001), about 30% of the women with the largest abdominal fat cells at baseline had developed type 2 diabetes compared with less than 10% among those with the smallest fat cells.

  1. Lonn et al. Adipocyte size predicts incidence of type 2 diabetes in women. FASEB J 24:326-31 (2010).

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