20 May 2014
Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) can reduce the risk of progression to Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) by increasing the amount of physical activity they do, suggests new research from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute.
Around one-third of women with T2DM have a history of GDM, meaning a diagnosis of gestational diabetes could help women understand their increased risk of progression. This would allow them to take the necessary steps to prevent it.
The research team examined the role of exercise, watching television and other sedentary activities in the progression to T2DM. Over 4,550 women with a history of GDM were involved in the study. Of these women, 635 advanced to the next stage of gestational diabetes.
Scientists were able to determine that 100 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 50 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity exercise was linked to a nine per cent reduced risk of T2DM.
Women who increased their total physical activity levels to 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity exercise were 47 per cent less likely to progress to T2DM.
Wei Bao, lead author of the study, said: "These findings suggest a hopeful message to women with a history of GDM, although they are at exceptionally high risk for T2DM, promoting an active lifestyle may lower the risk."
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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