Heart health guidelines can reduce diabetes risk too

Diabetes blood Sugar test
Diabetes blood Sugar test

Lifestyle changes that improve heart health also reduce diabetes risk, finds study

Lifestyle changes that are good for your heart can also prevent diabetes, according to a new study published today in Diabetologia. It is the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Researchers at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, assessed diabetes among 7,758 participants in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study and used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 as a guide for measuring heart health among the group.

The research proves using prevention strategies from the very beginning is key to helping people avoid diabetes

Physical activity, diet, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and tobacco use are the Life’s Simple 7 health factors and lifestyle behaviours that are associated with cardiovascular health.

India is said to be the “diabetes capital” of the world. According to the World Health Organisation, India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes (8.7%) as per the 2015 data. Of these, it remained undiagnosed in more than 36 million people. Worldwide, the number of people with type 2 diabetes has quadrupled over 35 years, rising from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. This is expected to climb to 642 million by 2040. The National Health Profile 2018 has also for the first time shown that India has a 8.4% incidence of diabetes.

Overall, the study participants who were in the recommended, ideal ranges for at least four of the seven factors had a 70 percent lower risk of developing diabetes over the next 10 years.

“What’s interesting is when we compared people who had normal blood glucose and those who already had impaired blood glucose,” said Dr. Joshua J. Joseph, an endocrinologist and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Those in normal levels who attained four or more guideline factors had an 80 percent lower risk of developing diabetes. Those who were already diabetic or prediabetic and met four of the factors had no change in lowering their risk for diabetes.”

Joseph said this research proves using prevention strategies from the very beginning is key to helping people avoid diabetes.