Healthy lifestyle may save type 2 diabetes patients hundreds of dollars a year


Healthcare professionals motivate people to have a healthy lifestyle to avoid diseases. A recent report suggests that a healthy lifestyle can help people with type 2 diabetes to save hundreds of dollars every year.

Obesity remains a matter of concern for healthcare professionals throughout the U.S. Healthcare professionals in the U.S. highlight that around one-third of the country's population is obese. Being overweight and obese can lead to other medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and more.  

According to a new study, conducted by the researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, overweight people suffering from diabetes, who lose weight from physical activities and dieting can save up to $500 on costs related to their healthcare.

Mark A. Espeland, professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, who is also the lead author of the study reveals that previous studies have recommended obese and overweight people with type 2 diabetes stress on weight loss to improve their existing health conditions. However, the latest study is the first to show monetary implications to these people if they lose weight.

The researchers of the study reveal that they evaluated more than 5,000 overweight and obese suffering from type 2 diabetes. These people were between the age group of 45 and 76 years and took part in the National Institute of Health-sponsored Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD) program that started in 2001. Around 50 percent of the study subjects were assigned to intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) or diabetes support and education (DSE) programs.

The researchers examined the medical history of all the subjects till 2012. They found that during the course of the study, people in the ILI program were hospitalized 11 percent less and their hospital stay also reduced by 15 percent. Furthermore, they used fewer prescription medicines. The researchers estimated that the above conditions saved each subject over $5,000 during 10 years, which equates to a savings of over $500 each year for healthcare expense.

Espeland reveals that subjects in the ILI group maintained higher physical activities and lower weight during the study when compared to the subjects in the DSE program. The lower weight and high physical activity is believed to have controlled diabetes, as well as blood pressure. The researchers say that people in the ILI program also reported quality sleep and reduction in depression symptoms.

The study reaffirms the importance of a healthy lifestyle to ward away medical conditions and, at the same time, help people to save money.

The study has been published in the journal Diabetes Care.

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