Healthy Changes and Diabetes
Friday, August 7, 2009

Numerous lifestyle factors affect older adults’ risk of diabetes, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at the study in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Nine out of 10 new type 2 diabetes cases in older adults could be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes.

A combination of five lifestyle factors—physical activity, diet, smoking habits, alcohol use and body fat—accounted for 90 percent of new diabetes cases in men and women 65 and older, a study found.

Most recent research has focused on diabetes prevention in young people, but researchers say the results suggest that even modest healthy lifestyle changes later in life can make a big difference in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study followed 4,883 men and women 65 and older for 10 years. During the follow-up period, 337 new cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed.

Participants were divided into low- and high-risk groups within each of the five lifestyle factor categories. People in the low-risk groups for all five lifestyle factors had an 89 percent lower risk of diabetes.

The findings highlight that type 2 diabetes really is a lifestyle disease and is largely preventable.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.