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Medical News & Perspectives
June 11, 2014

Physical Activity May Stave Off Diabetes for Women at Risk

JAMA. 2014;311(22):2263. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6862

Even a modest increase in physical activity may protect women who have had gestational diabetes from later developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in May.

Women who develop gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. About 35% to 60% of women who had gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within the subsequent 20 years, according to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Studies have shown that a combination of a healthy diet, weight maintenance, and physical activity may protect against diabetes in this at-risk group. The new study suggests that even a small increase in physical activity, about 2.5 hours a week of moderate activity like walking, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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