Body composition in adults with Type 1 diabetes at onset and during the first year of insulin therapy.

A M Rosenfalck, Thomas Peter Almdal, J Hilsted, Sten Madsbad

27 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: To describe body composition in patients with Type 1 diabetes at diagnosis and during the first year after initiation of insulin therapy. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In 10 (eight male and two female) newly onset Type 1 patients, age 31.5 +/- 3.2 years (27-37 years) (sd and range), body mass index (BMI) 20.8 +/- 1.6 (19.2-23.4) kg/m2, body composition was estimated by means of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) whole body scanning supplemented by estimation of total body water (TBW) (isotope dilution technique with 3H2O) at diagnosis and after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months of insulin therapy. RESULTS: During the first year after onset of diabetes body weight (BW) increased 4.3 +/- 2.9 (0.1-8.3) kg (P = 0.0012) distributed as a 13.3% (1.6 kg) increase in total fat mass (FM) and 4.9% (2.5 kg) increase in lean body soft tissue mass (LBM). The self-reported weight loss at onset was 6.3 +/- 2.5 kg (1.5-10.0 kg). Compared with two reference populations the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and a healthy age and sex-matched local DXA scanned group the initial body composition data demonstrated BW 6.2 kg below ideal weight and a significant reduction of the FM (25% or -0.87 sd), whereas LBM was within the expected range. CONCLUSIONS: During the first year after onset of Type 1 diabetes the mean increase in BW is 6.5% with a 13.3% increase in FM and a 4.9% increase in LBM. Self-reported data on premorbid BW suggest an approximately 10% reduction in BW at onset of Type 1 diabetes. Compared with a healthy reference population initial body composition data demonstrate a 25% reduction of the FM, whereas only a minor and non-significant reduction in the LBM is encountered. These data indicate that uncontrolled diabetes is rather a fat catabolic state than, as previously believed, a protein catabolic state.
Translated title of the contributionBody composition in adults with Type 1 diabetes at onset and during the first year of insulin therapy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)417-423
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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