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Pedometers ‘can reduce blood glucose levels by 15%’

By Nigel Praities

Encouraging patients at risk of diabetes to exercise using a pedometer can significantly reduce their blood glucose levels, according to a UK study published today.

The PREPARE study found patients with impaired glucose tolerance reduced their blood glucose by 15% after a 12 month programme to encourage walking with a pedometer.

The authors of the evaluation said the study programme was already being rolled out in many areas of the country as part of the Government's NHS Health Check programme and could result in over a 50% reduction in the risk of diabetes in at-risk patients.

The evaluation – published today in Diabetes Care – randomised 87 overweight or obese patients in Leicester to three interventions. These were a three-hour structured educational programme, with personalised goals and a pedometer, a three-hour educational programme with generic goals or an information leaflet.

The Diabetes UK funded study showed the individualised programme with a pedometer was the most effective intervention, with a reduction in 2-hour post-challenge glucose of 1.31 mmol/L and fasting glucose reduction of 0.32 mmol/L compared with those just receiving a brief information leaflet.

Dr Thomas Yates, from the department of cardiovascular sciences at the University of Leicester, said the reductions were similar to those seen in the most successful diabetes prevention trials.

‘Using lifestyle interventions such as PREPARE to stop people developing Type 2 diabetes and its complications could save the NHS a fortune,' he said.

‘This is particularly relevant to the Government's Health Check programme, which focuses on the prevention of vascular disease, including Type 2 diabetes.'

'The impressive results of this study are already being recognised and the programme is now being implemented in PCTs in England and Ireland. Longer-term evaluation of its impact continues both in these PCTs and in the original study participants,' he added.

Pedometers can reduce the risk of diabetes


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