Low activity raises risk of fatal heart attack by 70 per cent in type 2 diabetes

Fri, 15 Nov 2013
Research from Sweden shows that physical activity can have a substantial effect on the risk of dying early from a heart attack if you have diabetes.

The study included 15,462 Swedish patients with type 2 diabetes and monitored them over 5 years. Participants were divided by their level of activity. A low level of activity was defined as taking part in 30 minutes of activity twice a week or less. A higher level of activity was set as taking part in half an hour of activity three times a week or more.

After 5 years, results of the study were analysed and showed that those in the low activity group were 25% more likely to have had a coronary or cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or angina requiring emergency treatment. In addition, the low activity group had a much greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Participants that maintained a low level of exercise through the 5 year duration of the study had 70 per cent higher rates of cardiovascular disease than other participants, including those that had started with a low activity level and raised to a higher activity level during the study.

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common complications of type 2 diabetes and is known to be the cause of death in 4 out of 5 people with diabetes. The research therefore confirms the importance of exercise in health management that goes beyond that of blood glucose control.
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