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Physical activity can reduce the risk of LADA

Phd student Rebecka Hjort is interviewed in Dagens Medicin about her study which shows an association between physical activity and reduced risk of LADA.

During the annual conference EASD (European Rebecka HjortAssociation of the Study of Diabetes) in Berlin in October, Rebecka presented results based on data collected in ESTRID (participants recruited from the ANDIS registry in Skåne, Sweden) and the Norwegian HUNT study.

The results indicate a reduced risk of LADA for those physically active. Earlier research has shown that physical activity has positive effects on the risk of type 2 diabetes already at moderate levels but when it comes to LADA it seems like more intense physical activity is required in order to achieve reduced risk. The researchers say that one explanation may be more strenuous demands in order to compensate for the reduced insulin secretion characterizing autoimmune diabetes.

Since it is known that genes play a role in the development of diabetes, the researchers also divided the participants into groups based on whether they had a high or a low genetic risk for LADA. This analysis did not show the same positive effects of physical activity for those with a genetically high risk. However, Rebecka emphasizes that this does not mean that physical activity is without importance for this group, since being active has many other beneficial effects on health, for example by reducing BMI.

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