Following guidelines for heart health can also reduce diabetes risk

Following guidelines used to help prevent heart disease could also prevent diabetes, according to new research. (AFP pic)

New US research has found that following seven healthy lifestyle guidelines for preventing heart disease also appears to help prevent diabetes.

Led by D. Joshua J. Joseph at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine, the new study looked at 7,758 participants with an average age of 63 and used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 health and lifestyle factors as a guide for measuring participants’ heart health.

The Life’s Simple 7 includes getting enough physical activity, following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, maintaining healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels, and not smoking.

The findings, published in Diabetologia, showed that overall, participants who were in the recommended, ideal ranges for at least four of the seven factors had an 80% lower risk of developing diabetes over the next 10 years compared to those who followed none or just one of the Life’s Simple 7 guidelines.ADVERTISING

“What’s interesting is when we compared people who had normal blood glucose and those who already had impaired blood glucose,” added Joseph. “Those in normal levels who attained four or more guideline factors had an 80% 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 that the findings show that using prevention strategies is key to helping people avoid diabetes, before problems with blood sugar begin.

“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 said.

According to a 2017 survey by the Centers for Disease Control, nearly a third of the US population live with diabetes or prediabetes.

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