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Physical activity and incident T2D

In this analysis, researchers performed a literature review of prospective studies that examined physical activity and the risk of type 2 diabetes. They examined a number of studies and found that the greatest incremental benefit was achieved at low levels of activity but that additional benefits are possible when people pursue considerably higher levels of physical activity than those advised in public health recommendations.

By Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore

Public health guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (PA) per week or 75 minutes of vigorous PA per week. In this study, researchers examined the results of 23 cohort studies on the relationship between physical activity (PA) and incidence of T2D. Their meta-analysis included 1,245,904 people without diabetes from the USA, Asia, Australia and Europe.

On analysing the data, it was found that there were 82,319 incident cases of T2D arising during the studies’ follow-up periods (ranging from 3 to 23.1 years). The authors identified a 26% reduction in the risk of developing T2D among participants who achieved 150 minutes/week of moderate activity, the minimum amount recommended by public health guidelines. The results were not linear, and they suggested that the health benefits of PA were apparent even at levels below the recommended levels, compared with not engaging in any activity. Benefits were also greater for those who exceeded the minimum recommendations, with the risk of developing T2D being more than halved in those individuals.

To access the full publication, click here

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