Type 2 diabetes isn’t fun. Thankfully, though, we at Elmwood Hills Healthcare Center know that it’s manageable. And a recent study sheds light on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for diabetes management.
This may not sound like a major discovery, but the new study shows just how important a healthy lifestyle can go. Even if you have another factor working against you, changing your lifestyle can go a long way in reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes.
The study focused on a healthy lifestyle and another specific risk factor: working rotating night shifts.
Diabetes in New Jersey
According to the American Diabetes Association, “diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in the United States” and in similar fashion on a smaller scale in New Jersey as well.
Based on facts from the CDC, about 12 percent of New Jersey’s adult population have the disease. This accounts for 904,861 adults. And another 2,483,000 people have prediabetes, accounting for 37.1 percent of people not yet eligible for a diagnosis.
These statistics almost beg us to find a solution for the epidemic. The numbers a staggering. Thankfully, new studies can point us in the right direction.
New Findings on Lifestyle Patterns and Diabetes
The recent study, published towards the end of this past November, spans over two decades of tracking the work and health lifestyles of two female nurse cohorts along with their histories of diabetes.
A total of 143,410 women participated in the study. None of them had type 2 diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease at baseline.
The participants reported about their work shifts and lifestyle habits over the course of the study. Poor lifestyle habits included smoking, a poor diet, being overweight, and not enough physical activity, among others.
While they were all similar at the baseline, during the years of the follow up, 10,915 of the nurses developed type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that the connection between unhealthy lifestyle factors and rotating night shifts was highly associated with type 2 diabetes.
Both of these factors has been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes on their own before. But for the first time this study measured the correlation of each factor individually and together.
So since they both contribute, changing the healthy lifestyle part alone also reduces the risk.
In the words of the researchers:
“Most cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by adherence to a healthy lifestyle, and the benefits could be larger in rotating shift workers,” they conclude.
In other words, maintaining a healthy lifestyle for diabetes management is a must, especially if you happen to work night shifts.
Do you have a loved on who has implemented a healthy lifestyle for diabetes management?
Which changes have been the most effective?
Please share in the comments below.