Regular Exercise Might Prevent Onset Of Diabetes In Black Women

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Taking a brisk walk several times a week for exercise appears to reduce black women's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Reuters Health reports.

Few studies have been conducted on the benefits of exercise among black women, according to Reuters. For the study, Julie Palmer of Boston University and colleagues used data from the ongoing Black Women's Health Study that followed 45,000 black women from 1995 to 2005.

Researchers found that those who said they walked for a minimum of five hours weekly for exercise were one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not walk.

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The risk of being diagnosed with the disease was significantly lower among women who said they regularly took a brisk walk even when taking into account possible contributing factors such as age, income and diet. The study included a large number of obese women and they too appeared to have a lower risk for developing diabetes if they exercised regularly.

Palmer said, "This is important, because it suggests a way to reduce diabetes risk even among the women who are at highest risk of the disease," adding, "The finding that brisk walking for a few hours a week or longer reduces diabetes risk may be the most important finding of all. This is something almost all women can do in the course of their daily lives."

Researchers also found that women who watched television for five or more hours a day were 86% more likely to develop diabetes than those who watched less than one hour per day (Norton, Reuters Health, 12/18).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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