MAR 09, 2021 1:17 PM PST

A Lifestyle Change Could Reduce a Diabetic's Cardiovascular Risk

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Nowadays, everyone thinks there is a pill or gummy that will fix everything. That may be true for the occasional headache, but not for most things. A lifestyle change though, could go a long way to ensuring your health.

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes have become an increasing worry across the world. While some of these issues are unavoidable due to genetics, most people can prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Simple changes in lifestyle could drastically reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
For those with diabetes, these lifestyle changes have a reduced effect, but never-the-less can reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues.

In a new study out of the Seoul National University in South Korea, a team of researchers wanted to see just how much patients’ lifestyles increased cardiovascular disease risk. In particular, they wanted to know how smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity affected diabetic patient’s risk of getting atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a common precursor to more severe cardiovascular problems, and preventing it could lead to a longer life for many patients.

The study looked at over 2,000,000 patients in the Korean National Health Insurance Service database and found almost 74,000 patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. Of these patients, there was a clear indication that heavy drinking and any level of smoking increased the risk of atrial fibrillation. There was a clear indication that exercise reduced the risk, and mild drinking was okay (thankfully for all those partiers out there).

The team then separated the data based on sex and found that the trends held more or less true. Smoking seemed to have a more significant effect on women than on men. However, those who had no history of smoking, only drank mildly, or exercised regularly still had the least risk of atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is a common risk factor for far more severe cardiovascular issues. In this study, researchers found that smoking and moderate to heavy alcohol consumption increased a diabetic patient’s risk of having atrial fibrillation. Exercise consistently reduced that risk, and mild drinking had similar risk scores as non-drinkers. Patients with diabetes are already at a greater risk of heart complications, so a lifestyle change might be just what the doctor ordered.

The study concludes, “In this large nationwide cohort study, we found that smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity were strongly associated with new-onset AF in patients with DM.”

Sources: Nature Scientific Reports, Top Doctors UK

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
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