World Bulletin / News Desk
Among people at high risk for diabetes who get very little exercise, those who manage to walk more throughout the day are less likely to actually develop the blood sugar disorder, according to a U.S. study.
Earlier studies have shown that walking more is tied to a lower risk of diabetes, but few studies have looked into precise measures of how many steps people take each day, said Amanda Fretts, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle.
"Our finding wasn't surprising given that other studies have shown that even light activity is associated with a lower risk of diabetes," Fretts wrote in an email to Reuters Health.
To get a better sense of the potential benefits of walking, Fretts and her colleagues asked more than 1,800 people to wear a pedometer for a week to tally the number of steps they typically took each day.
All of them came from native American communities in Arizona, Oklahoma and North and South Dakota that are known to have low physical activity levels and high rates of diabetes.
About a quarter of the group were considered to have very low activity, taking fewer than 3,500 steps a day, while half took fewer than 7,800 steps a day. One mile is around 2,000 steps and daily walking recommendations typically point to a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had diabetes. But after five years of follow-up, 243 people had the condition.
About 17 percent of the people in the lowest activity group developed diabetes, compared to 12 percent of the people who took more than 3,500 steps a day.
After taking into account people's age, whether they smoked and other diabetes risk factors, Fretts's steam determined that people who walked the most were 29 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who walked the least.
The findings don't prove that walking more is responsible for the lower diabetes risk, but Fretts offered some possible explanations for how walking might help.
"Increased physical activity may prevent weight gain and promote weight loss, a major determinant of diabetes risk," she said.
Physical activity also has effects on inflammation, glucose and other molecules in the body that could help lower diabetes risk. But she added that the potential benefits of moderate levels of walking are "only for those who are really inactive to begin with."
The calculation highlights the dilemma facing officials considering how to distribute the tiny quantities of unproven drugs that are likely to be available in the near term
"We are hopeful and grateful to God and to the medical team that they are showing signs of improvement," Liberia's Information Minister Lewis Brown told a press conference on Tuesday.
The decision came as the Ivorian national football team is due to face Sierra Leone, one of the countries that had been hard hit by the Ebola outbreak, next month in Abidjan as part of the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers.
Infant products are particularly vulnerable to food safety scares in China after powdered milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of at least six infants in 2008
Countries that do not have Ebola cases must strengthen their capacity to detect and contain any cases immediately, the WHO said
At least twenty patients broke out of quarantine in the Liberian capital after protesters looted a medical clinic.
At the end of last year, 13,254 tonnes of spent fuel was being held in temporary storage at nuclear plants, according to data from the commission, mostly in water tanks but some in concrete containers.
The 35-year-old Nigerian woman was en route to India on a treatment tour from advanced cancer.
Doctors Without Borders International President Joanne Liu said it will take six months to bring the Ebola virus under control in West Africa.
The death toll from the world's worst outbreak of Ebola stood on Wednesday at 1,069 from 1,975 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, the agency said
Chinese scientists said Tibetan glaciers had shrunk 15 percent - around 8,000 square km (3,100 square miles) - over the past 30 years.
The A.U. "is committed to ensuring that measures are put in place to prevent the further spread of the epidemic and that adequate support is provided to affected communities," the pan-African body said in a statement.
The Canadian government will donate between 800 to 1,000 doses of the vaccine, with the final number given dependent on how much Canada holds back for research and clinical trials
The government only asked SSI to investigate a possible outbreak on June 26 and it took more than a month to find the source