LEICESTER, England, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A British researcher says an international team found those at higher risk for type 2 diabetes may reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by walking.
Dr. Thomas Yates of the University of Leicester and colleagues at Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina; Durham VA Medical Center; University of Oxford; University of Glasgow; Danube University Krems in Austria; South Ostrobothnia Central Hospital in Finland; and King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia analyzed data from the NAVIGATOR trial involving 9,306 people with impaired glucose tolerance -- pre-diabetes.
Study participants -- who were recruited in 40 countries from January 2002 to January 2004 -- either had existing cardiovascular disease or at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor. People with pre-diabetes are at greater risk for stroke and heart attack.
Participants were followed up for cardiovascular events -- defined as cardiovascular death, non-fatal stroke or heart attack -- for six years on average and had their walking assessed by pedometer at baseline and 12 months. During the follow-up, 531 cardiovascular events occurred.
The findings, published in The Lancet, found those who walked 2,000 steps per day at the beginning of the study had a 10 percent lower risk of developing heart attack and stroke. Every increase of 2,000 steps taken per day lowered their risk of heart attack and stroke by 8 percent.
The researchers said 2,000 steps are about walking 20 minutes.