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Weight loss and physical activity can prevent diabetes: Study

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Thursday, March 4, 2010, 14:34 This news item was posted in health category and has 0 Comments so far.

Modest weight loss and increased physical activity can prevent or delay diabetes in high risk adults, according to a study.

Most adults who are at an increased risk of developing diabetes, however, are not aware of their prediabetes status, according to a study published in the April 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Only about half of U.S. adults with prediabetes reported that in the past year they tried to lose weight or exercise more.

Researchers from the Division of Diabetes Translation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases was trying to find out whether people with prediabetes are adopting preventive measures and what demographic factors might influence these behaviors.

The analysed survey data from 1402 adults with prediabetes who participated in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Survey participants were asked whether they had tried to control or lose weight; reduced the amount of fat or calories in their diet, and increased physical activity or exercise.

Participants were also asked whether they had been told by a doctor or other health professional in the past 12 months to perform each of these three risk reduction behaviors.

If they had been screened for diabetes or high blood sugar in the past 3 years was another survey question.

Only 7.3% of 29.6% of U.S. adults aged above 20 years in 2005 had prediabetes. And only (47.7%) of adults with prediabetes reported a test for diabetes or high blood sugar in the past 3 years.

Adults with prediabetes were more likely than those without prediabetes to be male, older, and have lower educational attainment, reports said.

Adults with prediabetes were also more likely to have higher levels of cardiovascular disease risk factors, including higher mean weight, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, and triglycerides, as well as a higher prevalence of hypertension.

Reversing the growing diabetes problem will require multiple levels of interventions, including promotion of healthy lifestyles and increased availability of evidence-based community prevention programs for people at high risk, researchers wrote.

Diabetes has become a major problem in India in recent years, especially after India started its rapid economic growth.

Type 2 diabetes is already an epidemic with 40 million type 2 diabetics in India.

India already has the largest number of diabetics in the world. In type-2 diabetes, glucose or sugar builds up in blood rather than getting used by the body. Obesity and sedentary lifestyle are said to be its leading causes.

The rapid urbanisation of India would play a major role in the spread of diabetes and heart diseases.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a  metabolic diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels.

Normally, blood glucose levels are controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level.

When the blood glucose elevates after eating food, insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level.

In patients with diabetes, the absence or insufficient production of insulin causes hyperglycemia.

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition and it lasts a lifetime.

If untreated diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage in the long term. These diseases result from of damage to small vessels, referred to as microvascular disease.

Diabetes is also an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to strokes, coronary heart disease, and other large blood vessel diseases.

Diabetes affects approximately 17 million people (about 8% of the population) in the United States.

Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease.

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