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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard Finds Type 2 Diabetes May Protect Against ALS

People with type 2 diabetes may have a lower risk for the being diagnosed with the serious neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers.

The study was published June 1 online in JAMA Neurology.

Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, research fellow in the department of environmental health at Harvard Chan School, and colleagues studied the association between diabetes, obesity, and ALS using data from Danish National Registers. They compared data on 3,650 people diagnosed with ALS from 1982 to 2009 with that of 365,000 healthy control patients.

The researchers found that type 2 diabetes — but not obesity — was associated with a lower ALS risk. They also found type 1 diabetes appeared to increase the risk of being diagnosed with ALS. Read more