Just an hour and a half of walking a week reduced the risk of diabetes complications


Just an hour and a half of walking a week can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetic neuropathy and nephropathy. The effect of physical activity on the risk of retinopathy was less pronounced.

Scientists from Aarhus University, the University of Vigo, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the University of Copenhagen assessed the effect of physical activity on the development of complications in type 2 diabetes. The study results were published in the journal Diabetes Care.

The risk of neuropathy was 29% lower in the group of physical activity below the recommended level, 27% lower in the group with normal physical activity, and 33% lower if the level of physical activity was above the recommended level. The probability of nephropathy with reduced activity decreased by 21%, and with normal and high activity – by 20%.

The effect of physical activity on the risk of retinopathy was lower. In the groups of reduced and normal activity, the likelihood of retinopathy decreased by 9%, and with increased activity – by only 2%.

Experts found that the minimum effective level of physical activity associated with a reduced risk of complications was just 1.5 hours of walking per week or less.




Data from 18,092 people with type 2 diabetes from the UK Biobank database were analyzed. Their level of leisure-time physical activity was assessed in metabolic equivalents (METs) per week. Participants were divided into groups depending on their activity level: no physical activity (control group), physical activity below the recommended level (0-7.49 MET-hours/week), physical activity in accordance with recommendations (7.5-14. 9 MET-hour/week) and a high level of activity (from 15 MET-hour/week and above). The average follow-up time was 12 years.



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