We’ve all heard about the epidemic of diabetes in America. Well it turns out that there’s a significant problem of diabetes among Veterans too. And even though this sounds like a broken record, exercise is a crucial weapon in attacking the disease.
A study by Washington DC VA Medical Center (DCVAMC) investigators indicates you don’t need to be a marathon man or woman to reap the rewards.
Dr. Peter Kokkinos, Director of the DCVAMC Exercise Testing Lab and lead investigator says all diabetic Veterans who took stress tests in the last 20 or more years were incorporated in the study.
Investigators divided patients into three groups (Low-Fit, Moderate-Fit and High-Fit) based on stress test results. It turns out that diabetic patients with a high level of fitness live significantly longer than diabetics with low fitness levels. After 20 years of follow-up, more than 70% of the patients in the High-Fit group and 50% of those in the Moderate-Fit group were still living. Only 35% of Veterans in the Low-Fit group were alive.
The findings tell us that diabetics do have the ability to control the ravaging effects of diabetes with moderate exercise. Dr. Kokkinos recommends walking because it is the cheapest, most effective and easiest exercise. Diabetic Veterans should call 202-745-8000, ext. 5483 to learn more. Start walking!