Friday, November 12, 2010


It is World Diabetes Day ( WDD ) , this weekend, so I thought that I should post a diabetes / cardiac topic. Afterall, as I am going to emphasize at tomorrow's talk, diabetes is actually a cardiovascular disease. After the advent of insulin injections, all the dangers of chronic high blood sugars are in the arteries of the body. Diabetes is a cardiovascular disease.
The Nov 8 issue of Arch. Int Med carried an article by Dr Stefano Balducci of La Sapeinza U of Rome on the effects of structured ( supervised ) exercise on HbA1c and cardiovascular health. They studied 606 patients over 1 year. Half of the patients had exercise counselling ( told to exercise ) twice weekly ( control group ), and the other half had supervised exercise ( study group ), 75 mins each time, twice weekly. After 12 months, they found that the study group had lower HbA1c, lower fasting serum triglycerides, lower LDL-C, higher HDL-C, better CV fitness, and lower BP. Better BMI. Basically all the good things.
I suppose we knew this all along, but now we have data for it.
Put it another way, exercise will lower weight ( lower BMI ), give greater fitness, and improve your CV risk profile. Therefore, we expect lesser CV mortality and morbidity.
We may each not have a exercise supervisor ( I suppose the many gyms around us, may promote and market this ), but I think it will sure help, if we can park our cars abit further on ( not to double park in front of our destination ) and walk to our destinations, use the stairs, when you have a choice of the stairs or escalator, over 1 floor ( except for personal safety issues ), and do our regular 15 kilometers a week of brisk walking, culminating in the weekly measurement of our weight. I think that should be reasonable. Of course the difference in just counselling and supervised exercise is commitment and discipline. It also works out in greater cost. If only we are committed enough and disciplined, exercise counselling may be just as good, and more affordable to more people.
This is World Diabetes Day, and so we should all make an effort to learn more about Diabetes and put to practice what we have learned, whether we are diabetic or hope to avoid diabetes. Then WHO's effort to bring greater awareness through World Diabetes Day, would have achieve its objective.

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