Diabetes: Should Lifestyle Advice Differ from General Population?

Diewertje Sluik, DrPH Postdoctoral fellow | Division of Human Nutrition | Section Epidemiology & Pubic Health | Wageningen University Postal address: PO Box 8129 | NL-6700 EV Wageningen| The Netherlands Visiting address: Agrotechnion, Building 309, Room 1019 | Bomenweg 4 | 6703 HD WageningenMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Diewertje Sluik, DrPH
Postdoctoral fellow | Division of Human Nutrition | Section Epidemiology & Pubic Health | Wageningen University
Postal address: PO Box 8129 | NL-6700 EV Wageningen| The Netherlands
Visiting address: Agrotechnion, Building 309, Room 1019 | Bomenweg 4 | 6703 HD Wageningen


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Response: The main finding of the study is that lifestyle advice with respect to mortality for patients with diabetes should not differ from recommendations for the general population.

Diabetes status did not substantially influence the associations between lifestyle and mortality risk. People with diabetes may benefit more from a healthy diet, but the directions of association were similar. These results highlight that the difficulties in recognizing and diagnosing diabetes and its different stages are of minor importance with respect to healthy diet and lifestyle recommendations, because no difference in recommendations depending on the stage of the disease seems necessary.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Response: It was unexpected that cakes and cookies and soft drinks were modestly inversely related to mortality in diabetes-free individuals. In persons with diabetes, the associations were not significant, but tended to be unfavorably related to mortality, as would be expected. The results in non-diabetics might be an artifact: the result of systematic underreporting of high consumers or caused by residual confounding. Because a large body of evidence on the detrimental effects of these food groups contradicts these findings, we think it is too early to draw any conclusions. Moreover, since this was not observed among persons with diabetes, we do not see any cause for changing the dietary advices for both diabetics and non-diabetics.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: In practice, this means that with respect to mortality, persons with diabetes can adhere to the same lifestyle recommendations as the general public.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our findings suggest that although dietary advices maybe similar to the general public, those with diabetes might benefit more from a healthy diet. This has to be confirmed in other studies.

Citation:

Lifestyle factors and mortality risk in individuals with diabetes mellitus: are the associations different from those in individuals without diabetes

Sluik D, Boeing H, Li K, Kaaks R, Johnsen NF, Tjønneland A, Arriola L, Barricarte A, Masala G, Grioni S, Tumino R, Ricceri F, Mattiello A, Spijkerman AM, van der A DL, Sluijs I, Franks PW, Nilsson PM, Orho-Melander M, Fhärm E, Rolandsson O, Riboli E, Romaguera D, Weiderpass E, Sánchez-Cantalejo E, Nöthlings U.

Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany
Diabetologia. 2013 Oct 17. [Epub ahead of print]

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