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Study highlights five habits to cut diabetes risk


11:03, September 07, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Living a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of diabetes by as much as 80 percent, a new analysis suggested.

Having a healthy diet, exercising, maintaining normal body weight, not smoking and consuming alcohol can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health report published in the Sept. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Doctors have long known that bad habits such as smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods increase the risk of developing chronic diseases, but the new study is among the first to examine how each factor -- alone and in combination -- contributes to a reduction in the chance a person will get the disease.

The research is the largest to date, as more than 200,000 healthy people aged from 50 to 71 when the study began in 1995 were involved in the program.

Study participants filled out questionnaires about what foods they ate, whether they were alcohol consumers or smokers, how often they exercised and whether they were overweight.

After the participants were followed for 11 years, about 10% of men in the study and 8% of women developed diabetes.

The study shows people who met all five standards had roughly 80% lower odds of a diabetes diagnosis than demographically similar people who led less healthy lifestyles.

Of all the five lifestyle factors, being overweight was linked most strongly to diabetes risk.

But the study also found that having healthy marks for the other four factors still made a difference, regardless of whether a person was normal weight, overweight or obese.

"This is good news for those individuals who have a tough time losing weight -- you can still lower your risk with these other lifestyle changes," Jared Reis, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and an epidemiologist with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Maryland, U.S., was quoted as saying by CNN.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 26 million Americans were diagnosed the most common diabetes Type 2, making it the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.



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