Healthy lifestyle linked to 90% lower risk of diabetes in women

Credit: Artem Podrez/ Pexels.

In a study from the National University of Singapore, scientists found that women with a history of diabetes in pregnancy can still reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy, stopping smoking, exercising regularly, and not being overweight.

They found that women who adhered to five key lifestyle factors—healthy weight, high-quality diet, regular physical activity, moderate alcohol consumption, and not smoking—had a 90% lower risk of the disorder compared with women who did not adhere to any, even among those who were overweight or obese, or were at greater genetic risk of type 2 diabetes.

It’s widely known that a healthy lifestyle is linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in generally healthy middle-aged populations.

But less is known about whether this also applies to high-risk women with a history of diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes), and if obesity status or genetic risk of type 2 diabetes influence this association.

In the study, the team evaluated the associations of adherence to optimal levels of five modifiable risk factors—healthy body mass index, high-quality diet, regular physical activity, moderate alcohol consumption, and not smoking, with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among these women at high risk.

They examined 4,275 women with a history of gestational diabetes from the Nurses’ Health Study II with repeated measurements of weight and lifestyle factors over 28 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that participants who had optimal levels of all five modifiable factors after the index pregnancy had a more than 90% lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who did not have any.

Each additional optimal modifiable factor was associated with an incrementally lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

And these beneficial associations were consistently seen, even among women who were overweight or obese or who had a higher genetic susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.

The team says the use of data from a large study with repeated measurements of health-related and behavioral risk factors, helps to better capture long-term lifestyle habits and reduce measurement error and misclassification.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that people with diabetes should consider taking this vitamin, and this berry can help prevent diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about a new early warning sign for heart disease, and results showing heavy cannabis use may decrease the incidence of diabetes.

The study was conducted by Jiaxi Yang et al and published in The BMJ.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.