Washington: Staying active, eating healthy and keeping blood pressure in check may not only boost heart health but also significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, a study has claimed.
The study, published in the journal ‘Diabetologia’, has found that lifestyle and health factors that are good for heart can also prevent diabetes.
“This research adds to our collective understanding about how physicians can help their patients prevent a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, cancer and now diabetes,” said Craig Kent from the Ohio State University in the US.
The team assessed diabetes among 7,758 participants and used the American Heart Association’s ‘Life’s Simple 7’ as a guide for measuring heart health among the group.
The ‘Life’s Simple 7’ health factors and lifestyle behaviours that are associated with cardiovascular health are physical activity, diet, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and tobacco use.
Overall, the study participants who were in the recommended, ideal ranges for at least four of the seven factors had a 70 per cent 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 Joshua J Joseph, an assistant professor at the Ohio State University.
“Those in normal levels who attained four or more guideline factors had an 80 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes. Those who were already diabetic or pre-diabetic and met four of the factors had no change in lowering their risk for diabetes,” added Joseph.
The research proves using prevention strategies from the very beginning is key to helping Americans avoid diabetes.
“Healthy people need to work to stay healthy. Follow the guidelines. Don’t proceed to high blood sugar and then worry about stopping diabetes. By that point, people need high-intensity interventions that focus on physical activity and diet to promote weight loss and, possibly, medications to lower the risk of diabetes,” Joseph pointed out.