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19-05-2010 | Diabetes | Article

Low creatinine linked to Type 2 diabetes in morbidly obese


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MedWire News: Low serum creatinine levels independently predict the risk for Type 2 diabetes in morbidly obese Caucasian patients, suggest study results.

Low serum creatinine is a surrogate marker of low skeletal muscle mass, which in turn is associated with insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, say researchers.

Low serum creatinine has also recently been linked to Type 2 diabetes. Jøran Hjelmesæth (The Morbid Obesity Centre, Tønsberg, Norway) and colleagues therefore carried out a cross-sectional study to assess the predictive value of creatinine for diabetes in 1017 consecutive morbidly obese patients.

Overall, 156 women and 106 men had Type 2 diabetes. Generally, low serum creatinine was associated with a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Up to a threshold of 69 µmol/l in women and 72 µmol/l in men, each 1 µmol/l increase in serum creatinine was associated with a significant 6% and 7% reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes in women and men, respectively.

Above these thresholds, increases in the concentration of creatinine did not further decrease the risk for Type 2 diabetes in men or women.

When the researchers adjusted for various risk factors including serum magnesium, albuminuria, and insulin resistance, women and men with creatinine levels below the median (73 and 61 µmol/l, respectively) were approximately 50% and 75%, respectively, more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those with creatine levels above the median.

“Longitudinal studies of both obese and non-obese populations are needed to investigate whether serum creatinine may be causally linked with Type 2 diabetes, and if so, precisely how they are linked,” conclude Hjelmesæth et al in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders.

“Such studies should also explore potential mechanisms and clinical implications,” they add.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert