Posted on Sep 18, 2008, 12 p.m.
By Rich Hurd
Women at high-risk of developing type 2 diabetes can significantly increase their chances of not developing the disease by taking regular exercise, say researchers.
Women at high-risk of developing type 2
can significantly increase their chances of not developing the disease by taking regular exercise, say researchers.
The study, led by Dr Jason Gill of the University of Glasgow, found that exercise has a significant impact upon insulin resistance â€“ the most important biological risk factor for diabetes . The researchers studied women between the age of 20 and 45 who typically did less than one hour of exercise each week and had a sedentary job. The women were deemed to be at high-risk of developing type 2 diabetes because at least one of their parents developed the disease.
At the start of the study the women with a family history of type 2 diabetes had higher insulin resistance than women in a control group who had no family history. Both groups of women were assigned to an exercise program of three 30 minute sessions of cardiovascular exercise in the first week, increasing to five 60 minute sessions by weeks six and seven. By the end of the study insulin sensitivity had improved by 23% in the women with a family history of type 2 diabetes , compared with 7% in the control group.
The researchers concluded that their findings showed that exercise has a significant impact upon insulin resistance in women with a family history of diabetes . They added that additional studies were needed to determine whether the benefits of exercise were are also seen in men with diabetic parents.
Barwell ND, Malkova D, Moran CN, Cleland SJ, Packard CJ, Zammit VA, Gill JMR. Exercise training has greater effects on insulin sensitivity in daughters of patients with type 2 diabetes than in women with no family history of diabetes. Diabetologia 2008;51:1912-1919.