Diabetes: Study Shows Regular Exercise Might Prevent Onset Of Diabetes In Black Women

By Laura Brooks on 12/26/2008
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Not many studies have been conducted on exercise and type 2 diabetes prevention in black women. But a recent publication in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that several brisk walks per week can help to lower black women's type 2 diabetes risk.

Julie Palmer of Boston University and her colleagues reviewed data from the Black Women's Health Study which is currently following 45,000 black women between 1995 to 2005.

Women who reported walking at least five hours per week as part of their healthy lifestyle were one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-walkers. Even with accounting for age, income, diet – even obesity – the chances of being diagnosed w/ the disease were also significantly lower among women routinely took brisk walks.

"This is important," notes Palmer, "because it suggests a way to reduce diabetes risk even among the women who are at highest risk of the disease." 

5 Responses (Add Yours)

  • I think walking can help anyone with type 2 Diabetes but I am glad to see they are doing research on black women also. Good blog.

  • Kelly Turner says:

    This seems kind of like a no brainer. Exercise decreases the risk of Type II so of course it will help for black women with Type II. But anything that helps people realize the importance of exercise is a good thing.

    Kelly Turner
    http://www.everygymsnightmare.com

  • Yoga London says:

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the post highlighting the benefits of exercise for the black women but don’t you think that regualr exercise will help all men and women in preventing diabetes irrespective the women is black or not.

    With Regards
    Barbara

  • Laura says:

    Hi Barbara,

    As Kelly points out, exercise would seem to be a “no-brainer” in helping all people prevent the risk from developing type 2 diabetes. But there have been surprising discoveries in the past with regard to race and the severity or progression of disease or disease resistance.

    In cases of anemia, lupus, breast cancer, fibroid tumors, etc., black women are often at greater risk than non-Hispanic whites for faster onset, delayed diagnosis, greater severity etc.

    In fact, blacks are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, and, during the past two and a half decades, consistent racial disparities have existed in diabetes mortality among young Americans, with death rates for black youths significantly higher those for white youths.

    This study focused on black women’s risk of diabetes, partly in response to the medical community’s historic lack of research involving this particular vulnerable segment of the population.

    I hope this blog post brings greater awareness in general about diabetes prevention for all people, but also helps to communicate the unique risks that African American women may face.

  • Barbara says:

    Thanks you very much Laura for the nice information. I wasn’t aware of that.

    With Regards
    Barbara

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