A British researcher says an international team found those at higher risk for type 2 diabetes may reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by walking.
Dr. Thomas Yates of the University of Leicester and colleagues at Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina; Durham VA Medical Center; University of Oxford; University of Glasgow; Danube University Krems in Austria; South Ostrobothnia Central Hospital in Finland; and King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia analyzed data from the NAVIGATOR trial involving 9,306 people with impaired glucose tolerance - pre-diabetes.
Study participants - who were recruited in 40 countries from January 2002 to January 2004 - either had existing cardiovascular disease or at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor. People with pre-diabetes are at greater risk for stroke and heart attack.
Participants were followed up for cardiovascular events - defined as cardiovascular death, non-fatal stroke or heart attack - for six years on average and had their walking assessed by pedometer at baseline and 12 months. During the follow-up, 531 cardiovascular events occurred.
The findings, published in The Lancet, found those who walked 2,000 steps per day at the beginning of the study had a 10 percent lower risk of developing heart attack and stroke. Every increase of 2,000 steps taken per day lowered their risk of heart attack and stroke by 8 percent.
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “prediabetes” - blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected. This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
No Clear Symptoms
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so, you may have it and not know it.
Some people with prediabetes may have some of the symptoms of diabetes or even problems from diabetes already. You usually find out that you have prediabetes when being tested for diabetes.
If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years.
The researchers said 2,000 steps are about walking 20 minutes.
Who should be tested for prediabetes?
If you are 45 years old or older, your doctor may recommend that you be tested for prediabetes, especially if you are overweight. Being overweight is a key contributor, along with inactivity, to prediabetes. If your body mass index (BMI) is higher than 25, you are overweight. BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height. If you’re not sure if you are overweight, ask your doctor.
Even if you are younger than 45, consider getting tested for prediabetes if you are overweight and
are physically inactive
have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
have high blood pressure or High cholesterol- blood fat
have abnormal levels of HDL, or good, cholesterol or triglycerides - another type of blood fat
had gestational diabetes - diabetes that develops only during pregnancy - or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander American
have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
have a dark, velvety rash around your neck or armpits
have blood vessel problems affecting your heart, brain, or legs
If your test results are normal, you should be retested in 3 years. If you have prediabetes, ask your doctor if you should be tested again in 1 year.