Healthy Lifestyle With Diabetes Cuts Cardiovascular Risk

Benefit seen for adoption of healthy lifestyle even after T2DM diagnosis made

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THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Greater adherence to an overall healthy lifestyle is associated with a substantially lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence and mortality among adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study published in the June 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Gang Liu, Ph.D., from Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues examined the associations of an overall healthy lifestyle (eating a high-quality diet, nonsmoking, engaging in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity ≥150 min/week, and drinking alcohol in moderation) with the risk of developing CVD and CVD mortality among adults with T2D. Patients were identified from the Nurses' Health Study (8,970 women) and from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (2,557 men).

The researchers found that over an average of 13.3 years of follow-up there were 2,311 incident CVD cases and 858 CVD deaths. For participants with at least three low-risk lifestyle factors versus none, the hazard ratios were 0.48 for total CVD incidence, 0.53 for incidence of coronary heart disease, 0.33 for stroke incidence, and 0.32 for CVD mortality (all P trend < 0.001). Greater improvements in healthy lifestyle factors before and after diabetes diagnosis were also significantly associated with a lower risk of CVD incidence and CVD mortality. Specifically, for each additional increment in low-risk lifestyle factors there was a 14 percent lower risk of incident total CVD, a 12 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 21 percent lower risk of stroke, and a 27 percent lower risk of CVD mortality (all P < 0.001).

"Greater adherence to an overall healthy lifestyle is associated with a substantially lower risk of CVD incidence and CVD mortality among adults with T2D," the authors write. "These findings further support the tremendous benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle in reducing the subsequent burden of cardiovascular complications in patients with T2D."

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