Diabetes Prevention and Risk Factors in the News

By Elizabeth Klein, MPhil

stopDiabetesCould You Prevent Diabetes With Just 2 Minutes Of Exercise?

You have probably been told that moderate physical activity, 5 days a week, is very important in helping you lose weight and maintain your blood glucose level. If you have a hard time reaching this goal, a new study published in the journal Biology might provide some exciting news. Scientists found that just 2 minutes of high intensity (very difficult) exercise each week was enough to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. Activities like sprints, where you run at full speed for a short amount of time, were found to improve fitness and help people achieve healthier blood glucose levels.

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One Key Lifestyle Change May Help Children At Risk For Diabetes

Children are now more at risk for metabolic diseases, like diabetes and obesity, than ever before. Healthcare providers and researchers suggest plenty of exercise, healthy food, and stress reduction to help curb this epidemic, but it is still a challenge to keep children healthy. A new study from Kuopio, Finland, has found that, even if children get a good amount of physical activity, they are still at risk for chronic disease if they spend too much time using electronics like laptops, tablets and video games. The researchers suggest encouraging children to spend more time doing unstructured physical activity, like playing outside, instead of using electronics.

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Sleep Apnea May Be Linked To Hearing Loss

Diabetes and obesity raise your chances of having a condition called sleep apnea, in which you stop breathing (or breathe more shallowly) throughout the night. This is linked to lower quality sleep, trouble losing weight, and other dangerous complications. A recent study has found that people who have sleep apnea are also at a higher risk for hearing loss. The scientists are quick to point out, however, that this does not mean that sleep apnea causes hearing problems. Instead, they think more research is needed to look into what might be causing both of these issues at once. This could be hormone problems, inflammation, heart problems, or another cause.

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Should You Get A Genetic Test For Diabetes?

Diabetes happens as a result of both lifestyle factors, like sleep, nutrition, physical activity and alcohol intake, and your family history (genetics). You can get a test from your healthcare provider to see if your genes raise your chances of getting diabetes, but experts now think that it is more important to lead a healthy lifestyle than to look at your genes, which can be expensive.

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Diabetics: Women At Higher Risk For Heart Disease Than Men

People with diabetes already have a 2 to 4 times higher risk of heart disease than people who do not have diabetes. Now, new research has shown that women with diabetes have a higher chance of having heart problems than men. The study found that they tend to have higher A1C levels, higher blood pressure, and lower insulin sensitivity compared to men with diabetes. The researchers think that this may be caused by women’s hormone levels, and suggest that healthcare providers recommend healthy lifestyle changes to women who do not meet their health goals.

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