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According to researchers, heart health is a key component to the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

In a September study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, scientists in the Netherlands found that middle-aged adults with good heart health had a lower risk of developing a chronic condition.


To do this, the group looked at 5,993 individuals including individuals with and without a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes.

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Using data from a prospective population-based Rotterdam study, Researchers include Most of the female participants who were on average were 69 years old.

A cardiovascular health score was calculated with the participant’s body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoking status, diet and physical activity and further graded at baseline.

A genetic risk score was also created using 403 independent genetic variants associated with the disease, with participants classified as low, intermediate or high risk.

Higher scores indicated better heart health, and participants were then divided into three groups, reflecting their remaining lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The remaining lifetime risk for the “ideal” group was 22.6%; It was 28.3% for intermediate and 32.6% for poor heart health.

Accounting for genetic risk, lifetime risk for ideal cardiovascular health scores was still lowest in the lowest, middle and highest tertiles compared to poor and intermediate cardiovascular health scores.

At index age 55 for those in the high genetic risk group, the remaining lifetime risk was 23.5% for ideal, 33.7% for intermediate, and 38.7% for poor heart health groups.

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“Lifetime risk [Type 2 diabetes] was still the lowest for the norm [cardiovascular health] in the lowest [genetic risk score] tertiary, second [genetic risk score] tertiary, and in the highest [genetic risk score] Tertiary when compared with remaining lifetime risk [Type 2 diabetes] for the poor and intermediate [cardiovascular health],” the authors wrote.

Using behavioral and biological cardiovascular health scores, the group assessed lifetime risk, finding that it was lower in ideal cardiovascular health categories than in poor and intermediate people.

Results from the individual heart health components suggested that behavioral factors – particularly body mass index – have the greatest influence.

The group noted that while American Heart Institute considers body mass index as a behaviour, which is “controversial because it may suggest that obesity is an option” while “others suggest that obesity should be considered a health metric.”

The pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes driven by genetic and non-genetic factors such as obesity, an unhealthy diet and physical activity warrants multicenter interventional measures to improve the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

About 870 individuals developed type 2 diabetes during follow-up.

In keeping with the study’s limitations, the authors collected individual cardiovascular health metrics at baseline approximately 20 to 27 years earlier, which they noted could have “miscarriage of the participants.”

Furthermore, in the analyses, the estimates were based on relatively small sample sizes and the study mainly included individuals of European ancestry.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and PreventionMore than 34 million people in the US live with diabetes and 90% to 95% of them have type 2 diabetes.