Updated: March 05, 2021 9:26 AM IS
Washington [US]March 5th (ANI): Exercising regularly has many health benefits. However, did you know that regular physical activity can be an effective strategy for preventing type 2 diabetes in people who live in relatively polluted areas?
Regular physical activity is a safe strategy for preventing diabetes for people, especially those who live in relatively polluted areas, according to a new study. The results of the study were published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for Research on Diabetes (EASD).
The study, which first explored the combined effects of physical activity and pollution on type 2 diabetes risk, was led by Dr. Cui Guo and Professor Lao Xiang Qian, Faculty of Medicine, Hong Kong University of China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Headed, China, and Dr. Hsiao Ting Yang, Institute for Risk Assessment Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands, and colleagues.
An increasing body of evidence has shown that air pollution is a novel risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Physical activity increases the inhalation of air pollutants, which can worsen the harmful effects of air pollution. There is limited information on the combined relationship between air pollution and habitual physical activity and the development of type 2 diabetes.
The risk-benefit balance between air pollution and physical activity has therefore become a major public concern, with almost all (over 91 percent) of the world’s population living in a location where air quality does not meet WHO guidelines. Especially in regions with significant air pollution, there is an urgent need for health guidelines to educate people about whether they can benefit from regular physical activity.
In this study, the authors examined the combined relationship between regular physical activity and chronic exposure to particles from the environment with a diameter of less than 2.5 mm (so-called PM2.5 particles) with the incidence of type 2 diabetes at 156,314 Adults who underwent a total of 422,831 medical exams in Taiwan, where annual PM2.5 levels are about 2.6 times the WHO recommended limit.
Diabetes diagnoses were made from medical examinations, while the average PM2.5 exposure after two years at the address of each participant was estimated using a satellite model. Information on physical activity and a variety of other variables was collected using a standard self-administered questionnaire.
Compared to high physical activity, moderate (by 31 percent) and inactive / low-level physical activity (by 56 percent) were associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Participants with moderate (31 percent) and high (94 percent) PM2.5 had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than participants with low PM2.5. The participants with high physical activity and low PM2.5 had a 64 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those with inactive / low physical activity and high PM2.5.
The authors said, “We found that high levels of habitual physical activity combined with low levels of chronic PM2.5 exposure were associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while low levels habitual physical activity combined with high levels of chronic PM2 .5 Exposure was associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. “
They also emphasize that “the benefits of habitual physical activity in type 2 diabetes have remained stable in participants with different levels of PM2.5 exposure.” Additional analysis showed that the effect on diabetes risk appeared to be greater at higher levels of pollution than at lower levels of physical activity.
Regarding possible mechanisms, the authors say that the metabolic improvements caused by physical activity that prevent the development of diabetes have been extensively discussed. Pollution can work by causing system-wide inflammation, including the lungs, blood vessels, and central nervous system.
A previous study also showed that pollutants inhaled during exercise were only a small fraction of the total pollutants a person breathed. This could explain why the effects of physical activity on diabetes risk are similar even with different levels of pollution.
The authors concluded: “Our results suggest that habitual physical activity is a safe strategy for diabetes prevention for people who live in relatively polluted areas and should be encouraged. Our study underscores the importance of air pollution control for diabetes prevention . ” (ANI)