New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) shows that regular physical activity is a safe diabetes prevention strategy for people residing in relatively polluted regions.
The authors say: "We found that high levels of habitual physical activity combined with low levels of chronic PM2.5 exposure were associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), whereas low levels of habitual physical activity combined with high levels of chronic PM2.5 exposure were associated with a higher risk of developing T2D."
They further emphasise that "the benefits of habitual physical activity on T2D remained stable in participants with different levels of PM2.5 exposure." Additional analysis showed that the effect on diabetes risk seemed to be more pronounced for higher levels of pollution that it was for lower levels of physical activity.
The findings suggest that habitual physical activity is a safe strategy for diabetes prevention for people who reside in relatively polluted areas and should be promoted. The study reinforces the importance of air pollution mitigation for diabetes prevention.