The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Lifestyle choices and diabetes risk later in life

    There are 5 choices that make a difference, according to this report by the Cardiovascular Health Study group.

    First, the details.

    • 4883 adults 65 years or older were monitored for 10 years.
    • Their lifestyle choices later in life were compared to their risk of diabetes mellitus.
    • Low-risk lifestyle included the following factors
      • Physical activity
        • Higher than the median: exercise more than half of the people in your age group
        • Leisure-time activity and walking pace
      • Dietary score
        • Higher fiber intake
        • Higher polyunsaturated to saturated fat ratio
        • Lower trans-fat intake
        • Lower glycemic index: ranking food by the speed it’s converted from carbohydrates to sugar
      • Smoking
        • Never smoked
        • Former smoker more than 20 years ago or for fewer than 5 pack-years
      • Alcohol use
      • Obesity
        • Body mass index (BMI) less than 25
        • Waist circumference: 88 cm (34.6 inches) for women, 92 cm (36.2 inches) for men
    • Diabetes was defined as the new use of insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs.

    And, the results.

    • 337 people were diagnosed with diabetes requiring drug treatment.
    • Each lifestyle factor was independently associated with a higher risk of diabetes
    • People cut their risk of diabetes by half when they were physically active and had good dietary habits.
    • Adding no smoking, and healthy alcohol habits lowered this risk 82%.
    • The absence of obesity (healthy waist circumference and BMI) lowered this risk another 7%.

    The bottom line?
    When elderly people follow healthy lifestyle choices as defined in this study, they could lower the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes by about 90%.

    Here are the 5 life choices for older people that will increase or decrease their risk for diabetes later in life.

    • Physical activity
    • Diet
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol use
    • Obesity

    And, there’s no need to take drugs or CAM to achieve the benefits.

    4/28/09 09:44 JR

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