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Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A University of Sydney-led team finds that an active lifestyle could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, even among people who are genetically predisposed to the condition. The researchers used data from 59,325 adults from the UK Biobank, who wore activity trackers on their wrists. The findings, which appear in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, show that moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per day is associated with a 74 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with participants who did less than five minutes of physical activity per day. Moreover, participants who were genetically predisposed to type 2 diabetes as determined by a polygenic risk score but were in the physically active category had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to those with a low genetic risk but were in the least active category. "We are unable to control our genetic risk and family history, but this finding provides promising and positive news that through an active lifestyle, one can 'fight off' much of the excessive risk for type 2 diabetes," the authors write in a statement.