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3. Physical Activity
BETHESDA, MARYLAND - According to the Centers for Disease Control, American Indians and Alaska Native are 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites. The death rate due to diabetes among American Indians and Alaska Natives is three times higher compared with the general US population.
In recent research released by the National Institutes of Health, lifestyles may help reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, even if family history put you at risk for the disease.
Diabetes affects an estimated 25.8 million Americans of all ages-over 8% of the population. The most common form is type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases in adults. Diabetes leads to excess glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood. Over time, high blood glucose damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve problems and amputation.
Previous research has tied several lifestyle factors to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, but the studies have tended to focus on the impact of one risk factor at a time. A research team led by Dr. Jared Reis of National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute set out to examine the combined influence of several healthy lifestyle factors.
The five factors they studied were:
The team used data collected from more than 200,000 adults enrolled in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Men and women aged 50-71 completed extensive surveys in the mid 1990s about their diets, demographic characteristics, lifestyle and medical conditions. They were then followed for 11 years to see if they developed diabetes. The results appeared in the September 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
The researchers found that the more healthy lifestyle factors a person adopted, the greater the reduction in diabetes risk. Men with all 5 healthy lifestyle factors had a 72% lower risk for developing diabetes, while women had an 84% lower risk.
“Not being overweight or obese led to the greatest protection,”
Reis says. "However, we found that overweight or obese adults with a greater number of the other healthy lifestyle factors had a lower risk of developing diabetes. This is good news because it suggests that overweight or obese adults can benefit by adopting other healthy lifestyle behaviors."
The study also found that while a family history of diabetes is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, people may be able to largely prevent or delay the disease by leading a healthy lifestyle.
posted September 20, 2011 7:35 am edt
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